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‘We are waiting to see if there is a directive on special population,’ Sedgwick County health director weighs in on J&J vaccine

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – Kansas is expected to receive more than 23,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses this week.

Dr. Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County health director, said they are not sure when they will get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but stated it is good news for the overall vaccination plan. “

We are waiting to see if there is a directive on special population or how we will utilize that in addition to the Pfizer that we have,” Byrne said.

Byrne said the authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is welcomed news.

“It is extremely effective just like Pfizer and Moderna when it comes to preventing serious consequences and close to 100% in preventing hospitalization and death,” she said.

Byrne said what sets the Johnson & Johnson vaccine apart from the rest is that it consists of a single dose. She said county staff has seen a good number of people not coming back to get their second shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

“There have been some people who have been holding out for the Johnson and Johnson because they are wary of needles so shots are very difficult for them or just wanting something more familiar as far as how we already do some vaccines — or just because they want one shot and not having to worry about following through with the second,” said Byrne.

On Monday there were no available appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine later this week, more than 5,000 of the available appointments filled up in just two days.

For more information on COVID-19 testing in Sedgwick County, click here.

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