INDIANAPOLIS — In another historic milestone, this week marks a year since Indiana saw its first positive COVID-19 case.
Monday morning, a third vaccine was packed and shipped for distribution in the United States. Johnson & Johnson cleared its inventory of 3.9 million doses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Indiana will get 53,900 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine by the end of the week.
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) says they should have 20,000 by mid-week, and those doses will be going to clinics where they are needed the most. Our local hospitals and clinics say they hope to begin administering the shots by Friday.
“We’re allocating the J&J vaccine the exact same way we allocate Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine, proportional to a state, tribe or territory’s population,” said Jeff Zients, White House coordinator of the COVID-19 response.
Many local clinics and hospitals aren’t sure when they’ll begin to receive their first doses but have communicated with the state department of health.
“I know the state expects to start receiving it this week or later this week even,” said Dr. Chris Weaver, IU Health’s chief clinical officer.
Some of those clinics are looking into additional avenues like adding the vaccine to their primary care sites and for home visits. Experts say this vaccine will keep us moving in the right direction.
“It’s more vaccine supply and more vaccine inventory to cover more individuals. So, it will get us towards that population level immunity,” said Regenstrief Institute VP for Data and Analytics Dr. Shaun Grannis.
While it’s a bonus, it’s not the end all be all.
“We still won’t have enough vaccine to give it to everybody that we would like to give it to. The beauty is that it’s an additional vaccine on top of what we had and the supply that’s still coming of the other two,” said Dr. Weaver.
When comparing the three vaccines on the market compare, Pfizer and Moderna both have an efficacy of about 95%, while Johnson & Johnson’s is 66%. All are effective in preventing COVID-19 hospitalization and death, which is what the experts look for in vaccines. It’s also why experts are continuing to urge Hoosiers to get whatever vaccine on the market.
“I would encourage you to get the vaccine that is ready at the earliest available time for you,” said Dr. Grannis.
Johnson & Johnson expects to ship out another 16 million doses by the end of the month and 100 million by the summer.