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Coronavirus

Johnson & Johnson vaccine now being administered in SLO County

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 5.49.55 PM
Boxes of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at Cayucos Pharmacy. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- The new single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is now being administered in San Luis Obispo County.

On Friday, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department announced the county had received 1,400 doses of the vaccine.

"Having a little bit of that Johnson & Johnson is just one tool that we'll have that we'll be able to use to get people vaccinated," said San Luis Obispo County Public Health spokesperson Michelle Shoresman. "The more people we can get vaccinated, the more supply we have in the county, the better."

All of the Johnson & Johnson doses have been allocated to local pharmacies that will administer the shots.

"We're excited to have the vaccine," said Dr. Greg Flores, Cayucos Pharmacy & Gifts owner. "We're excited to also be part of the vaccine program. We know now that we're going to be able to give a lot more shots out and get a lot more people vaccinated. Every vaccine that we get in the county is another vaccine that we're able to give to somebody in the community, so the more vaccines that we have, the more manufacturers that can make them, and get them to us, just allows to get the community vaccinated sooner, and that's what we're all looking for, is to get everyone vaccinated and back to normal."

Flores' pharmacy is one of a handful in the county already administering vaccine.

His business has been supplying community members with the Moderna vaccine.

Now he's ready to start administering the single-dose Johnsson & Johnson vaccine later this week.

"We get calls on a daily basis, multiple calls specifically asking for the Johnson & Johnson because they want to take advantage of just the one shot, getting vaccinated with just one shot and being done," said Flores.

Flores adds the one-shot nature of the vaccine will be an important benefit to many people.

"That's going to make a big difference," said Flores. "One of the issues we have with the two shot vaccine is compliance. We have to get those patients in here, so we need them to be able to come in here and get that second vaccine in order to get the full benefit. With the Johnson & Johnson, having one vaccine, and not having to worry about that second shot, it's going to make things a lot easier. It's going to make it easier for patients and for providers to be able to get everybody vaccinated quickly."

The Public Health Department will continue to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at is three clinics, at Cuesta College, South County Regional Center and Paso Robles Event Center.

"We distributed the 1,400 doses that we had to local pharmacies so they will be administering those at their sites as they're able," said Shoresman. "SLO County will not be using the Johnson & Johnson at it vaccine sites, but could change in the future."

Shoresman added allotments of doses for the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will fluctuate weekly, similar to the other two brands.

For more information about the County's vaccination efforts, visit RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine or call County’s Phone Assistance Center at (805) 543-2444

California / Community / Health / Safe at Home / Safety / San Luis Obispo County / What's Right
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Dave Alley

Dave Alley is a reporter and anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Dave, click here.

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