FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Health officials in Fresno County say they have received around 10,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, and plan on distributing the doses to high-risk and vulnerable communities in the next few weeks.
“The great thing, well there is a lot of great things, but one great thing is it is only one dose,” said Fresno County Department of Public Health’s Trinidad Solis.
Unlike the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccinations, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot and it can also be stored for months using normal refrigeration, making it easier to handle than the other available vaccines.
“Because of that, it allows us to reach more vulnerable groups in our community which includes the homeless population. We also have a lot of vulnerable communities in our rural regions,” said Solis.
Fresno County is currently vaccinating Phase 1B, which includes individuals 65 years and older, food and agricultural workers, education, and childcare workers.
In the coming weeks, Fresno County will move onto Phase 1C which includes homeless, incarcerated individuals, industrial and transportation workers.
Dr. Kenny Banh with UCSF Fresno said they too received Johnson & Johnson vaccines and will distribute them out soon.
“We also are getting our first allocation of Johnson & Johnson, so it will be our first time utilizing that. We are going to be utilizing that in mobile settings and not at the site here,” said Banh.
Banh said with this third vaccine getting improved they can hopefully get more people vaccinated quicker.
“I am excited, but I am most excited about it getting us more inventory. It’s not about whether Johnson & Johnson is better than Pfizer or Moderna, it’s about we are really inventory constraint right now and hopefully that fixes it so that you can get an effective and safe vaccine,” said Banh.