Alabama health officials urge people not to coronavirus vaccine shop and just get what they can

Several providers can expect to receive the first doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine some time this week or next week.

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 5:41 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2021 10:36 PM

Alabama will receive 40,100 doses of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccine doses have not arrived to Alabama just yet, but will be delivered directly to providers across the state sometime this week or next week. The new allotment will allow some providers to finally administer coronavirus vaccines for the first time.

FILE - This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP) FILE - This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

"We expect to supply providers who had previously not had vaccines," Dr. Karen Landers with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) said.

At this time, it's still unclear which providers will get the new Johnson and Johnson vaccine because ADPH does not provide names of entities until those entities have product in hand. The state also does not provide specific information regarding what vaccine a provider has. However, Dr. Landers says the goal is to expand access for those who are eligible.

"At this point, it's expected that providers will remain with the product that they ordered originally," Dr. Landers said.

That means people won't be able to pick and choose which vaccine they want when they go into a clinic.

Johnson and Johnson's vaccine has a lower efficacy rate compared to current vaccines being administered.

Overall, the newly authorized vaccine has a 60% efficacy rate. That's significantly lower compared to Moderna's and Pfizers's roughly 95% efficacy rates. The co-chair for Johnson and Johnson's coronavirus vaccine research says one main reason why there's such a big difference is because of virus variants.

"These studies were done in different times," Dr. Paul Goepfert says.

During the Moderna and Pfizer clinical trials, COVID-19 had not mutated into the variants Johnson and Johnson had to deal with.

"In the US, it showed the highest efficacy for symptomatic COVID infections, which was 72%. The lowest was in South Africa, which is 57%. But, that's the country that had the sort of infamous strain that is partly neutralization resistant against all the vaccines that are currently out there," Dr. Goepfert said.

The single shot could also be a reason behind the lower efficacy rate. However, Dr. Goepfert says when comparing the data dose per dose, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine works just as well as Moderna's and Pfizer's.

Right now, Johnson and Johnson is finishing up enrollment on another clinical study that's looking at the efficacy of the vaccine with two shots instead of one. Dr. Goepfert says if the rate is better, the company will likely recommend that booster shot, but for now, he asks people not to wait to get vaccinated.

"I mean, this vaccine along with Pfizer and Moderna is going to save thousands to hundreds of thousands of lives," Dr. Goepfert said. 

Dr. Landers also urges people to just get the vaccine that's available to them.

"CDC does not have a preference for one vaccine over the other. All the vaccines are efficacious," Dr. Landers said. "Whichever entity you choose to be vaccinated from, you should take the product that entity is offering."

It's unclear when or if Alabama will receive any additional doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the future.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 530011

Reported Deaths: 10946
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson763591519
Mobile40875804
Madison34676503
Tuscaloosa25717451
Montgomery24308585
Shelby23389248
Baldwin21093307
Lee15844169
Calhoun14481313
Morgan14281279
Etowah13813353
Marshall12203222
Houston10553280
Elmore10036205
Limestone9952150
Cullman9647193
St. Clair9634239
Lauderdale9413241
DeKalb8821185
Talladega8210175
Walker7222277
Autauga6914108
Jackson6803111
Blount6645136
Colbert6291134
Coffee5503118
Dale4826111
Russell440038
Chilton4263111
Franklin425482
Covington4120117
Tallapoosa4006152
Escambia393276
Chambers3559123
Dallas3544151
Clarke350861
Marion3111100
Pike310177
Lawrence299898
Winston273772
Bibb260463
Marengo249164
Geneva248777
Pickens233760
Barbour230757
Hale222577
Butler215869
Fayette212062
Henry188744
Cherokee184345
Randolph179941
Monroe177040
Washington167039
Macon158650
Clay155956
Crenshaw151957
Cleburne148741
Lamar141834
Lowndes138553
Wilcox127029
Bullock123041
Conecuh110129
Perry107526
Coosa107128
Sumter104332
Greene92334
Choctaw60424
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 852072

Reported Deaths: 12245
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby955251616
Davidson89317933
Knox50606634
Hamilton44219493
Rutherford43026434
Williamson27986217
Sumner23978349
Montgomery20232225
Wilson18779233
Out of TN1839297
Unassigned17048134
Sullivan16760294
Blount15486193
Bradley15010149
Washington14582245
Maury13493172
Sevier13377175
Putnam11376175
Madison11164242
Robertson9755131
Anderson8758172
Hamblen8604173
Greene7864155
Tipton7349103
Coffee6903121
Dickson6835110
Cumberland6726132
Carter6628158
Gibson6524145
McMinn650698
Bedford6502128
Roane6281105
Jefferson6198124
Loudon612469
Hawkins6050107
Lawrence593087
Monroe583795
Warren554881
Dyer5423106
Franklin514690
Fayette506177
Cheatham454755
Obion453896
Cocke449699
Lincoln435263
Rhea434375
Marshall418658
Campbell415463
Weakley412564
Giles3995100
Henderson378876
White363270
Macon361778
Carroll361483
Hardin357167
Hardeman351864
Lauderdale318544
Henry317976
Claiborne317773
Marion312547
Scott311645
Overton300861
Wayne296134
Hickman283846
McNairy281654
DeKalb279554
Smith277439
Haywood271162
Grainger262550
Trousdale250022
Morgan249739
Fentress241347
Johnson240839
Chester214351
Bledsoe214011
Polk207624
Crockett203448
Unicoi203449
Cannon192031
Union190534
Humphreys179526
Grundy179234
Lake170326
Sequatchie169729
Benton165940
Decatur158639
Lewis158126
Meigs138825
Stewart132428
Jackson131936
Clay110131
Houston109333
Perry106628
Moore101017
Van Buren84623
Pickett75924
Hancock58912

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