PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Late Sunday afternoon, the CDC gave its recommendation for Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years and older. This now clears the way for vaccines to begin in the Delaware Valley as early as this week.
The one-and-done J&J vaccine rapid rollout is already underway. This week, millions are set to hit the nation, and that includes thousands scheduled to come here to the Delaware Valley.READ MORE: Elderly Man, Woman Killed In West Philadelphia Multi-Home Fire, Police Say
“I think it is clearly a game changer,” Dr. Carlos del Rio said.
This weekend, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. It’s the first single-shot option and third available vaccine.
“It gives us a third vaccine, and one that I say from a logistical consideration is so much easier to deal with,” del Rio said.
Thousands of doses of the @JNJNews #vaccine are expected to arrive as early as this week in #PA, #NJ and #DE. How much and when plus @CarlosdelRio7 on the race between the #COVID variants and vaccine. Tonight at 11pm on @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/sIRcljjjcd
— Alicia Roberts (@ARobertsCBS) March 1, 2021
Currently, Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines require two doses for full immunity — something that’s already caused supply issues across the region — with one-out-of-10 people missing their second shot in time.READ MORE: Pennsylvania Lottery Generates $1.3 Billion In Sales To Benefit Seniors
“We have been told we will not receive a sufficient amount of second-dose Moderna vaccine,” Montgomery County Board of Commissioner Chair Dr. Valerie Arkoosh said.
Across the tri-state, Delaware expects to receive 8,000, New Jersey 70,000 and Philadelphia, 13,000 doses of the J&J vaccine this week. Pennsylvania has yet to say how much and when its supply will be available.
“My message is, get whatever shot you can get,” del Rio said.
del Rio, who led the early COVID vaccine trials in the U.S., says all three options work to reduce your chance of getting severe symptoms. J&J’s reports 85% effectiveness against the standard virus and unlike Moderna and Pfizer, it has also been studied against newer strains.
“It looks pretty good against the U.K. variant,” del Rio said.
Still, officials warn about letting our guard down just yet.
“I’m beginning to see a sense of complacency,” del Rio said. “I worry about that, so I tell people we are in a race between variants and vaccines, and we have to hang on there a little bit longer because if not, the variants are going to take over.”
Unlike Pfizer’s vaccine, which needs to stored at sub-freezing temperatures, the new J&J vaccine just needs to be refrigerated. Officials say that will be key in getting this shot to the masses more quickly, especially those in rural areas.MORE NEWS: Thursday's Storms Break Record For Most Tornadoes In Tri-State Area In Single Day
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.