TEMPLE, TX — More advances were made in the fight against the coronavirus Saturday night as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the newest COVID-19 vaccine, a Johnson & Johnson shot, for emergency use.
However, the FDA giving the green light to Johnson & Johnson is just the first step in getting the vaccine into Texans arms.
Regardless, local health officials said they’re excited about a third vaccine getting approved.
“I think the only thing that's holding us back now from vaccinating everyone who wants the vaccine is the doses,” Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan Public Health District said. “And Johnson & Johnson just gives us more options.”
Craine explained why the new vaccine just makes sense. She said it’s easier to store because it has simpler refrigeration temperatures and doesn’t require extreme cold temperature holding areas.
She also explained how it would cut back on time scheduling and administering the shot because it’s a one-dose poke.
“Imagine if we were just doing 3000 one time only you get one shot, you're done,” She said. “You don't have to come back, we don't have to make sure that we reschedule you.”
Sunday afternoon, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved the vaccine to begin distribution as early as Monday.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is made with a little different technology and it is a technology that the military specifically has used to make vaccines,” Amy Mersiovsky, the director of the Department of Nursing at Texas A&M Central Texas said. “So that technology has been used before.”
When asked about the vaccine’s 85% success rate in fighting off severe diseases, Mersiosky said the technology isn’t new and should be trusted.
She also said every medication has the potential for side effects, and that shouldn’t keep us from all getting vaccinated.
”Like I keep saying, we've got to keep this under control, get it under control,” she said. “Get everybody vaccinated when it's your turn.”
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas could receive more than 200,000 doses of the new vaccine but are unsure when.