Delaware has received its first 8,000 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. John Carney announced on Tuesday.
“I’ve been saying for a long time that this is a game-changer,” Carney said. “It enables us to vaccinate Delawareans in a way that’s a lot easier than the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require a second dose scheduling 21 and 28 days after receiving the first dose.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the third vaccine to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. However, it is the first vaccine to require only one dose — Pfizer and Moderna are both two-dose vaccines.
Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health (DPH), said the state is advising individuals to take the first vaccine that becomes available, no matter what kind.
“Our message to the public, our position as an agency and my recommendation as a doctor, is for eligible individuals to get vaccinated with the first vaccine available to you,” Rattay said. “When you get that first available opportunity, please take advantage of it, regardless of the vaccine type.”
DPH is sending out invitations to its waiting list for vaccination events happening this weekend. These events will be by appointment only.
“We’re extremely excited about two events this weekend, one at Seaford High School on Saturday, one on Sunday at the Delaware City DMV, where we’re going to be offering a total of 5,000 vaccinations of the Johnson & Johnson,” Rattay said.
At the briefing, Rattay presented data stating the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The vaccine is 85% effective at preventing moderate-to-severe COVID-19 disease and 72% effective in preventing symptomatic infection.
Carney noted that Delaware will not receive any additional doses of the new vaccine for the rest of the month.
“It’s only 8,000 doses and, to be clear, they’ve made it clear to us that we won’t get any more doses this month,” Carney said.