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New Type Of Vaccine Available On Central, South Coasts For First Time

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Dozens of people are sitting in some socially distanced folding chairs in a Thousand Oaks gymnasium.  They just received COVID-19 vaccinations, and are doing the obligatory post shot waiting required to insure there’s no bad reactions.  People are asking lots of questions, especially with the arrival this week with a third type of vaccine in the region.

Christie Jones says she didn’t care whether she got the Pfizer, or Moderna vaccine.  She’s just happy to get a vaccination.

This week, a third possibility is arriving on the Central and South Coasts.

The FDA recently approved the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for use, in it will be available in our region for the first time.

While some people like the idea that it’s a single shot, as opposed to the two shots required for Pfizer and Moderna, others question reports it may be less effective.

Public Health officials on the Central and South Coasts say some statistics showing it may be more than 20% less effective are deceiving.  Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin says there’s much more to the numbers for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. 

He says testing has shown that not only is it hugely successful in keeping people from getting seriously ill, and out of hospitals.  Dr. Levin says tests show it’s 100% effective in preventing deaths.

And, Dr. Levin says there’s more.  He says it’s incredibly good at keeping people from ending up in hospitals, or dying from COVID-19.  The Ventura County Public Health Officer says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine also is the most tested when it come to dealing with the COVID-19 variants popping up around the world.

Health officials in the region are busy trying to inform people about the new vaccine, because of past question about its effectiveness.  And, they want people to understand that this isn’t like going to Costco, or online to Amazon to find something you want.  When you get an appointment, the vaccination that’s available is what’s available.  You can’t shop around for it

Dr. Levin thinks it’s possible the Johnson and Johnson vaccine could become the most popular around the world.  It’s because unlike the other two, it doesn’t require special cold storage, and like a flu shot is a single dose.

The message from the region’s public health agencies is simple:  All three COVID-19 vaccines are safe, and effective.