As vaccination scales up, so does our nation’s overall protection from serious outcomes due to COVID-19. Oregon has given over 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to people in Oregon, and now we have begun to receive doses of a third vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in the United States, began arriving in Oregon this week, and has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing severe COVID-19 illness, hospitalization and death. In clinical trials, no one who received this vaccine was hospitalized for COVID-19 and there were no COVID-19 related deaths among those vaccinated.
One of the advantages of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it only requires one dose. People will not have to return for a second dose to be protected. In addition, this vaccine does not need to be kept in a freezer and can be stored at refrigerated temperatures, making it easy to transport and store. It also allows for expanded availability in most community settings and mobile sites as supply scales up.
This third safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine comes at a potentially pivotal time. Oregon is moving quickly to vaccinate our older population. Group 6 of Phase 1B will begin vaccinations no later than March 29.
This vaccine is another important tool in our toolbox to equitably vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.
This article first appeared in the March 4, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.