By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama is set to receive 40,100 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Alabama Department of Public Health announced Monday.
The vaccine will be deployed in the normal allocation process of identifying providers who are next in line to receive them and not used to target a specific population, an ADPH press release said.
Approved for emergency use over the weekend, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is unique in that it only requires one shot, whereas the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two. Nationwide, more than 4 million doses of the new vaccine were shipped Sunday and expected to be in use by mid week.
Authorities are urging people with access to the vaccine to take it regardless of what brand it is or how many doses it requires. Last week, CVS announced it was opening stores in rural Alabama for vaccine appointments. Those are currently available in Camden, Evergreen, Jackson, and Union Springs and can be scheduled at www.cvs.com/immunizations/
The FDA said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death. One dose was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19 illness, in a massive study that spanned three continents — protection that remained strong even in countries such as South Africa, where the variants of most concern are spreading.
As of Monday, the state had administered 920,566 doses of vaccine, which includes many who have only taken the first dose. ADPH said that those who took part in large scale first dose vaccinations on Feb. 8-12 are now ready for their second dose and should return to the same location.
Alabama is seeing some of its most promising data since the pandemic began. The number of new COVID-19 cases reported Monday was 408, the lowest it has been since June 5, 2020. Confirmed hospitalizations – a key metric in gauging the virus’ intensity – were at 651 Monday, the lowest number since June 28, 2020.
BamaTracker Confirmed Hospitalizations
BamaTracker New COVID-19 Cases
The Associated Press contributed to this report.