RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The state of North Carolina will receive tens of thousands of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine this week, the newest vaccine authorized for use in the United States, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
“A third COVID-19 vaccine means North Carolina can get more people vaccinated sooner, which will save lives and slow the spread,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. in the release.
On Sunday, White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients announced that the entire stockpile of the newly approved single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will go out immediately. J&J will deliver about 16 million more doses by the end of March and 100 million total by the end of June.
Of the nearly 4 million doses being shipped out, North Carolina will receive more than 80,000 of those this week. They are expected to start arriving on Wednesday.
Though the new shot is easier to administer and requires only one dose, the administration is not altering its distribution plans. Zients says, “We’re distributing the J&J vaccine as we do the Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of the White House equity task force, encouraged Americans to take the first dose available to them, regardless of manufacturer.
Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted overwhelmingly to recommend the vaccine for adults 18 years old and up. The ruling followed emergency clearance of the vaccine by U.S. regulators a day earlier.
Members of the group emphasized that all three vaccines now available in the U.S. are highly protective against the worst effects of the virus, including hospitalization and death.
As with many virus vaccines, there are possible temporary reactions, according to NCDHHS. Those side effects include sore arm, fever, headache or feeling tired and achy for a couple of days after.
“[The] increased supply will help to ensure the equitable distribution and access to COVID-19 vaccines in every community in the state,” the NCDHHS release said. “The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is a single-dose shot and does not require extreme cold storage. As a result, it can be more easily shipped, stored and administered, factors that will help to increase the number of vaccination sites and make them more accessible.”
“COVID-19 vaccines and the continued use of the 3 Ws are the most effective ways to help North Carolina stop the spread of COVID-19, get us back in control of our lives and back to the people and places we love,” said Cohen.
Visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov for more information about all three COVID-19 vaccines.