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Connecticut Expecting 30,000 Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Doses Next Week If Approval Granted

  • Governor Ned Lamont says Connecticut is slated to receive 30,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine next week if it receives emergency authorization from the FDA
  • Approval would introduce a third vaccine, and the first one to require only one dose to be effective
  • More than 300,000 Connecticut residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Connecticut’s COVID-19 vaccine supply could increase by nearly one-third next week if a new candidate receives emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Governor Ned Lamont says federal officials have informed him that Connecticut is slated to receive 30,000 doses from Johnson & Johnson next week if the FDA authorizes the vaccine’s use. The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel is scheduled to hold a vote today, which could lead to authorization as early as this weekend and distribution soon after.

While the J&J vaccine has a lower efficacy rate against COVID-19 than the existing vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna, it has proven to be more effective against a South African variant of the virus and result in milder side effects. The vaccine can also be stored in a standard refrigerator and administered with a single dose, unlike the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which could assist with speeding up the rate of vaccine distribution and make it easier for pharmacies to store doses.

J&J says it will have fewer doses than originally anticipated, with 4 million set to ship if authorization is granted and 20 million ready by the end of March. The company says it will be able to keep its pledge to provide 100 million doses by the end of June.

Lamont said the 30,000 promised doses would supplement the 100,000 vaccines expected next week from Pfizer and Moderna, and that the supply is likely to grow in coming weeks. The boost in available vaccine would come as Connecticut moves to an age-based vaccine distribution strategy, with doses available to residents ages 55 to 64 starting on Monday as well as pre-K to grade 12 teachers and child care providers during the month of March.

COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Connecticut to any residents ages 65 and older, health care personnel, medical first responders, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and residents and staff of select congregate settings. The state has administered 887,325 vaccines, including 304,539 second doses. Seventy-three percent of residents ages 75 and older have received a vaccine, as have 44 percent of residents between the ages of 65 and 74.

In the latest update to the state’s COVID-19 data, the daily test positivity rate stood at 2.12 percent and hospitalizations dropped to 485.

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