Every new eligibility group that receives the COVID-19 vaccine brings new hope to the community. Thursday’s clinic was no different as a new vaccine was given to a new population of Fayette County residents.
Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) received the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday, March 2, and administered it to individuals at the clinic on Thursday, March 4. This group included individuals who have additional medical conditions that may increase their risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 and Ohioans who work in certain occupations, including child care services, funeral services, and law enforcement and correction services.
The one-dose shot was approved earlier this week under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Fayette County is not scheduled to receive an allotment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week.
“We are receiving more requests from individuals who have a preference for a specific vaccine,” said Missy Smith, FCPH public information officer. “We are developing a new scheduling system so that eligible persons will be aware of which vaccine they are scheduling for, but we also want to help the community to understand that we have no control over which one is sent to us from week to week. The Ohio Department of Health notifies us each week of our allotment — which vaccine we will receive and how much of it — and that is what we have to work with. We have received Pfizer, Moderna, and now Johnson & Johnson.”
While many individuals are willing to take the first vaccine offered, Smith said, others are waiting for something different, either due to personal choice or because of a recommendation from their healthcare provider (for example, due to an allergy to the components of a specific vaccine or because a one-dose vaccine is a better fit due to other ongoing medical care the individual is receiving).
Smith emphasized that all three of the vaccines currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) are effective at preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“If you are medically able to do so, we encourage you to take the vaccine that is offered,” she said.