Convenient 1-shot vaccine coming soon

Butte County has been steadily administering COVID-19 vaccinations amidst the pandemic. The county currently has Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available for healthcare workers and individuals over the age of 65, and both vaccines require two shots.

“All three vaccines currently available provide significant benefits to those that receive them,” said Kimberly Chappell, lead physician of the WellCat Center. “So, students should get whatever vaccine is available to them.”

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine met Food and Drug Administration health requirements on Feb. 27 and is already scheduled to be distributed through the country. It’s cheaper and only requires one shot unlike its competitors. One shot is convenient for those with busy schedules since they don’t have to worry about scheduling for a follow-up shot. 

“We are committed to delivering a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use pending clinical studies and regulatory authorizations,” according to the J&J website.

Joe Page, marketing manager from Enloe Medical Center, said the hospital expects for the J&J vaccine to simplify and speed up the process of fully vaccinating patients who meet the state of California’s criteria. 

“Yes, more vaccines will be available, so more people will be able to get their vaccine,” Page said. “Currently, we haven’t been able to open the community vaccine clinic as much as we’d like.” 

Butte County Public Health has received 80,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines from the state. Almost 50,000 Butte County residents have received their first dose, while 15,413 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccinations as of Feb. 25, according to the weekly press release video. 

Butte County’s Communication Manager Lisa Almaguer said vaccines must be ordered based on good weather patters because they can get damaged by temperature fluctuations .

“Things are looking good for J&J,” Almaguer said, “so once approved, Butte County will likely be offered an allocation of the J&J, and we’ll definitely keep [residents] posted on that.”

J&J is not new to the healthcare industry. It has been at the forefront combating disease outbreaks like HIV and Ebola by finding ways to help people. The J&J vaccine was formulated by its pharmaceutical companies, Janssen which was started in 1953.  

“For over a century, Johnson & Johnson has actively engaged in fighting global outbreaks from TB to HIV and Ebola,” said the J&J website. “Our knowledge and experience, successes and set-backs alike, inform everything we’re doing today to help eradicate COVID-19.” 

According to J&J’s website, the single-shot is compatible with standard vaccine distribution channels, allowing for vaccination sites to give out more vaccines. 

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine passed requirements on Dec.11, 2020. Moderna passed FDA requirements and received emergency authorization on Dec. 18, 2020. It was the first time the company had a drug passed by the FDA in its 10 years of business. 

Information on the state’s COVID-19 updates can be found on the California For All website.

People can find out if the vaccine is available for them by answering a few questions on the My Turn website. It’s a program created by the California Department of Public Health to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines for residents of the Golden State. 

COVID-19 updates are discussed weekly on a press release video from the health department.

Melvin Bui can be reached at [email protected] or @Melvinbuii on Twitter.