Yale-New Haven Health Begins Administering Johnson & Johnson Vaccine At Mohegan Sun

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Saturday marked the first time eligible patients could begin receiving Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine at Mohegan Sun.

For the last couple of weeks, patients have been coming to Mohegan Sun to get their shots. The mass vaccination clinic is by appointment only and only available to Connecticut residents.

At least 960 patients signed up for an appointment prior to showing up at the vaccine clinic on Saturday. This was the first time Yale-New Haven Health began administering the one-shot doses of Johnson and Johnson's vaccine at the clinic. Health care workers were hoping to get more shots into arms earlier this morning.

"Our goal is to get rid of 1,000 shots today and people will get completely vaccinated since this is one and done," said Susan Hauf, a pharmacist at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital.

Health care workers fill, separate, and organize Johnson and Johnson doses inside the pharmacy at the clinic.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has its share of benefits for health care systems and patients. It can be kept in a regular refrigerator and only requires one shot.

"It's actually good until May. If we had Pfizer or Moderna, we would either have to move it off-site or take it back to the hospital," said Hauf. "We really want the public to know that this is a safe and effective vaccine."

Officials address efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and how it was tested.

At least 12 vaccination sites are set up inside the clinic and after patients receive their shots, they're required to wait 15 minutes after their inoculation.

"This is another layer of protection and allows us to take another step closer to the home stretch," said Michael Smith of Clinton. "This Johnson and Johnson vaccine is more convenient, it's one and done."

Michael and Christine Smith were waiting for the United States Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorization for Johnson and Johnson's vaccine.

"It's what we were hoping for and we were really lucky to get an appointment and be here today," said Christine Smith. "We're really excited."

Christine Smith was one of the first people to show up to get the vaccine on Saturday morning.

In the last couple of weeks, health leaders have been trying to ease the public's nerves around the latest vaccine option. Yale-New Haven Health workers said they're committed to getting more people vaccinated as long as the doses keep coming in.

The first residents in Connecticut to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine got vaccinated on Wednesday.

"I think we've seen improvements with allocation so that's a plus," said Karen Butterworth-Erban, who works as an Administrative Director for Multi-Specialty Sites at Yale-New Haven Health. "We hope to continue to vaccinate as many people as we can with we what we're provided."

Appointments are required at the vaccination clinic.

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