The Johnson & Johnson single shot COVID-19 vaccine is now in Connecticut. The state is expecting to receive about 39,000 doses this week. Providers started administering the vaccine to people Wednesday morning.
"Such a relief!" said Melanie Brannigan-Johnston, a Putnam teacher who was one of the first to receive the J&J vaccine in the state.
Day Kimball Healthcare in Putnam received 1,500 doses Tuesday afternoon and held a clinic early Wednesday. Their J&J doses will be used for educators. The one dose shot is expected to help with larger school clinics.
"It is a single injection as opposed to the two injections that are required with the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine," explained Kyle Kramer, CEO of Day Kimball Healthcare. "The ability to disrupt school schedules as little as possible is a huge benefit to the school system."
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Yale New Haven Health reported that they received 7,400 doses late Tuesday afternoon.
Hartford HealthCare also received 7,400 doses. They began vaccinating people Wednesday morning. Their doses will be split between educators, the 211 program, and the general eligible population.
Some of the state's allotment of 39,000 doses arrived yesterday with more coming today and tomorrow, according to the Department of Public Health.
“Why not be safe and show the community that we should all participate and do our part," said Victor Rodriguez, a Hartford Public Schools safety officer who received the J&J shot Wednesday morning with Hartford HealthCare.
The state says the J&J vaccine will help add more appointments as hundreds of thousands more people became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Connecticut this week.
When signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, people in the state will be able to see which vaccine is being offered at the specific appointment. While the J&J vaccine appeared to be only slightly less effective in clinic trials than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci says true comparisons are impossible and all offer life-saving protection.
The message from health leaders in Connecticut: "take the vaccine that you can get."