RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia is expected to receive approximately 69,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine after the FDA granted emergency use authorization on Saturday.
Virginia hospitals and health systems says the availability of this new vaccine, combined with increased production by vaccine makers Pfizer and Moderna, should result in a significant increase in federal distributions to the Commonwealth.
As many as 69,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to begin arriving next week, according to the VDH.
Virginia’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines has continued to increase as Pfizer and Moderna have ramped up manufacturing efforts.
According to health officials, Virginia’s vaccine allocation from the federal government is estimated to have increased to as much as 250,000 doses per week.
Now with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the expectation is that vaccine dose distribution to Virginia will continue to grow each week.
Based on Johnson & Johnson’s pledge to deliver 20 million doses by the end of March, Virginia could receive as many as 500,000 additional doses in the coming weeks if the vaccine allocation formula continues to be based on population.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires a single dose (the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses several weeks apart).
In clinical trials, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been found to have equivalent efficacy to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. It has also been shown to have potentially fewer side effects. Since Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses can be stored at refrigerated temperatures rather than at ultra-cold levels, that helps simplify distribution, storage, and administration, which means even more health care providers may have the opportunity to participate in vaccination efforts.