Wisconsin anticipating 47K doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week

NOW: Wisconsin anticipating 47K doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week

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WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced Monday, March 1, that the first shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccines is expected to arrive in state next week.

The FDA issued the emergency use authorization for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Feb. 27.

Initially, about 47,000 doses are expected to arrive in Wisconsin.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to be a game changer for our statewide response to COVID-19,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “One of the biggest hurdles we have faced is supply, and this will get more vaccine into Wisconsin. This vaccine also protects people and has been shown to prevent serious illness from the virus after just one dose, which makes it more accessible to Wisconsinites and reduces the burden on our vaccine providers.”

Milwaukee's Infinity Pharmacy said the additional vaccine option would be extremely helpful. They gave out only three vaccine doses Monday because of short supply. They gave out 100 doses Sunday, and plan to give 50 more Tuesday, but say the supply is inconsistent.

“If I request a quantity, sometimes they guarantee this quantity," Marwa Bakr, Infinity Pharmacy owner said. "Other weeks I get less than I requested.”

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is the first one-dose vaccine in the U.S. Bakr said it should help reduce some of her long waiting list.

“We are very booked for next week and the following week," Bakr said. "Right now, my wait list exceeds 3,000.”

The vaccine has simpler storage requirements than the current vaccines. It can be kept in a refrigerator for up to three months, which allows the vaccine to be shipped directly to all areas of the state.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is held to the same high safety standards by the FDA as the other authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The trials show it is very effective at protecting people against being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. We strongly encourage you to take whichever vaccine you are offered when it is your turn,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. “Vaccinations are some of the best tools we have to overcome this virus. And just one year ago, we would have been astonished and thrilled to know that we would have three effective and safe vaccines available to us.”

UW-Health said Monday they were not sure whether they would receive the initial shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but they believe it will ultimately help March be their best month in terms of vaccination numbers.

“There’s the constraint of supply, but overall I feel like better days are ahead," UW Health Senior Medical Director for Primary Care Matt Anderson said. "And I feel like getting more shots in arms is going to be a really positive thing in the month to come.”

DHS says similar post-vaccination symptoms can be expected with all the COVID-19 vaccines, such as fatigue, having a sore arm, swelling on the arm and a fever. The department says all symptoms are indications that the vaccine is working.

For more information, visit the DHS COVID-19 vaccine webpage

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