WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center is receiving a limited quantity of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week and will distribute the doses to Veterans in Hays and Wichita.
The J&J vaccine was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older.
“We anticipate receiving more doses of the J&J vaccine in the future, but we don’t know how many we will receive. The J&J vaccine is a single dose vaccine which will make it easier for us to reach Veterans in rural areas or individuals that are homebound,” said Candace Ifabiyi, Medical Center Director. Roughly 40 percent of the Veterans served by the Dole VA live in rural areas.
“From the perspective of transportation and storage, the J&J vaccine is very beneficial for us as a health care system,” said Dr. Susan Duquaine, Chief of Pharmacy for the Dole VA Medical Center. “This vaccine can be shipped and stored at standard refrigerated temperatures for up to 90 days, and unopened vials can be kept at room temperature for 12 hours.”
To date, the Dole VA has administered more than 6,200 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to staff and Veterans. The Dole VA is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to Veterans 65 years of age and older. Veterans can call the Dole VA at 316-469-0914, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to get scheduled to receive their vaccine.
The Dole VA serves Veterans living in 59 counties in Kansas, and Veterans from Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri frequent the Dole VA’s services. In addition to the medical center in Wichita, Dole VA operates outpatient clinics Dodge City, Hays, Hutchinson, Parsons and Salina.
Veterans need to be enrolled in health care with a Dole VA facility to be eligible for the vaccine. You can learn more about eligibility and how to apply at www.va.gov/healthbenefits or call 1-877-222-VETS.