PHILADELPHIA - Health officials in Delaware wasted no time planning for the arrival of the new federally approved Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.
Delaware said Saturday it's estimated to get an initial shipment of around 8,000 doses sometime next week. The game-changing vaccine could start rolling out across the U.S. as early as Monday to combat severe illness caused by the COVID-19 virus.
"There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we are not out of the woods yet," Governor John Carney said. "Let’s all do what works until we can vaccinate enough Delawareans. Continue to wear face masks. Avoid gatherings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Stay vigilant."
Delaware will forge ahead with its current vaccination plan, which currently includes high-risk populations, frontline essential workers and people over 65. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine will not be used for a specific population, according to health officials.
"Vaccination is a critical tool in bringing this unprecedented pandemic to an end, and I encourage all eligible individuals to get vaccinated with the first vaccine available to you," Delaware Department of Health Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said.
J&J’s vaccine protects against the worst effects of COVID-19 after one shot, and it can be stored up to three months at refrigerator temperatures, making it easier to handle than the previous vaccines, which must be frozen. More than 47 million people in the U.S., or 14% of the population, have received at least one shot of the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.
Projected deliveries from Pfizer, Moderna and J&J combine for 240 million doses slated for late March, and 700 million jabs by mid-year, the latter of which is more than enough to vaccinate the U.S. population.
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