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