How will new Johnson & Johnson vaccine affect Florida?

DeSantis: Doses could arrive next week, allow for younger people to get shots

MIAMI – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, paving the way for its approval.

Gov. Ron DeSantis is already talking about when shipments of the vaccine might arrive to Florida.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to be approved this week, they are going to start shipping it either this weekend or next week,” DeSantis said. “I don’t know how much we are going to get now, we are hearing conflicting reports, but we are going to use that.”

“If all goes to plan,” he added, “you should start seeing Johnson & Johnson sometime next week.”

The J&J shot would mark the third COVID-19 vaccine approved in the United States, after ones manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer. Data released shows the J&J vaccine is effective against variants, and if authorized, the company says it would have 4 million doses available to ship immediately.

Just how it will be distributed is still in the works.

“We are going to work to see exactly how we use it,” DeSantis said. “Perhaps in pharmacies, perhaps with doctor’s offices.”

DeSantis also announced that at least 200,000 more Pfizer vaccines will be shipped to the state.

“Now we are in a situation where you have hundreds of thousands more, potentially, that will be available in Florida on a weekly basis, so that will make a big difference,” he said.

And with additional doses coming, that will allow the state to ease age restrictions in the near future.

“Once we get to the point of the senior population where we start to see the demand go down, then we obviously are going to lower the age and get people at a minimum 60 and then maybe even 55 right off the bat,” the governor said.

DeSantis said earlier this week that teachers and sworn law enforcement personnel and firefighters 50 and older would be next in line for shots.

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