Mid-Michigan hospital anxiously awaiting rollout of third COVID vaccine

Bozz District

OWOSSO, Mich. (WJRT) (2/28/2021)–As for when you might see doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine locally, at least one Mid-Michigan hospital is waiting with bated breath. Their supply of the first two vaccines has been spotty at best. The hope now is that this shot will be the […]

OWOSSO, Mich. (WJRT) (2/28/2021)–As for when you might see doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine locally, at least one Mid-Michigan hospital is waiting with bated breath.

Their supply of the first two vaccines has been spotty at best. The hope now is that this shot will be the one to put their efforts on the right path.

“Oh, we’re ready.”

With the CDC’s stamp of approval, an estimated 3.9-million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine could roll out as soon as Monday.

“The sooner we can get these vaccines distributed in the arms of individuals… the more successful we are going to be in reducing those numbers.”

That was Memorial Heatlhcare CEO Brian Long. When he spoke with this reporter late last month, the Owosso hospital had a backlog of patients on its wait lists and a whopping zero doses in its freezers.

“Things have not changed for us since we last spoke,” Long related. “We’re not getting any vaccine from the state at this point. However, we have received… doses from the county health department… We’re basically just trying to add additional resources to their staff.”

Michigan and numerous other states still fall short of hitting the mark, with the bulk of its 80 plus counties still shaded in red, according to its coronavirus vaccine dashboard, indicating a low level of distribution in those areas.

“If we can get this third entry into the field on board, it’s got to help things a tremendous amount,” Long suggested.

Just how effective the Johnson & Johnson version actually is has repeatedly been called into question. According to a filing by the FDA, the J & J vaccine’s around 70-percent effective across the board, rising to 85 when it comes to severe illness and hospitalizations.

“If you go back six, seven, eight months… they were hoping a vaccine would hit above the 50-percent range,” Long recalled. “We’ve blown that completely out of the water… now we’re in the 70-80-percent range and we’re somehow questioning its effectiveness? I don’t think so.”

Millions more doses have been promised in the weeks and months ahead and experts suggest the fact that this version can be kept in an ordinary refrigerator will make the rollout easier. Distribution will likely be based upon the eligibility requirements of individual states.

Copyright 2021 WJRT. All rights reserved.

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