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Connecticut hospitals receives over 8,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The FDA says the vaccine is overall about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19, but 85% effective against the most severe illness

HARTFORD, Conn — Hartford HealthCare started distributing its first shipment of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning. The healthcare system received 7,400 doses as part of the first shipment.

Trinity Health Of New England said the received its first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to the Saint Francis Hospital pharmacy early Wednesday morning. The shipment included 1,000 doses of the vaccine.

“We are excited another vaccine has received the necessary FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), because it adds one more tool in our armamentarium in defeating this virus and ending pandemic,” said Dr. Syed Hussain, Chief Clinical Officer, Trinity Health Of New England. 

Several people received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine Wednesday morning.

“It’s more convenient than having to return for a second one,” said school safety officer Victor Rodriguez.

“I’m super excited to have caught on video my husband getting vaccinated. Now we can show our children that it does not hurt,” said teacher Rachel Nisselson.

Hartford HealthCare officials called a third vaccine a critical tool as the race to vaccinate continues.

“More vaccines, our ability to increase how quickly we’re able to vaccinate everyone and return to a better than normal state than we were in in the past,” said Erica Arlia, the System Director of Pharmacy for Hartford HealthCare

“If we see what the two vaccines that we have on board now, the Pzifer and Moderna vaccines, the populations such as our nursing home population, the mortality rate has decreased exponentially. We’ve seen prevalence decrease exponentially,” said Keith Grant, APRN, Senior System Director, Infection Prevention for Hartford HealthCare.

The health system is also offering choice by updating its online MyChart system where people can sign up for an appointment.

“You will be asked if you’d like to schedule a messenger-RNA vaccine which is Pfizer or Moderna, a J and J vaccine, or you also have the option to pick first available appointment. Depending on which you choose, you’ll see different clinic schedules,” said Arlia.

Hartford HealthCare will distribute the Johnson and Johnson vaccine through different channels, including teacher clinics, community clinics, and the 211 system.

“There’s going to be times when one type of appointment is more available than another. That’s going to depend on our allocation from week to week,” said Arlia.

Hartford HealthCare is also set to launch Johnson and Johnson vaccine specific public clinics next week at the Xfinity Theatre.

RELATED: "A dose of her own medicine" | Dolly Parton receives COVID-19 vaccine after helping fund it

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