ARNOLD, Mo. – Missouri vaccinators are expected to receive the first 50,000 doses of the newly-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by Wednesday, and the state’s health director says the shots can start as soon as the doses arrive.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday. Nearly 4 million doses of the one-shot vaccine are now being shipped across the U.S.
Some states expect to begin injections Tuesday, but Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said Monday that the first doses in Missouri are expected a day later.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says the region has received its normal allotment of the vaccine for the week, plus whatever the state adds with the J&J vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Jefferson County Health Department began a two-day clinic at First Baptist Church in Arnold with the assistance of the Missouri National Guard. They are planning to administer 2,400 doses Monday and Tuesday.
Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon says the clinic is possible because of his calls to the governor’s office to ask for more vaccine doses.
“I know that we still lag,” Gannon said. “If you look at the numbers for the state, we’re still below the average… I have talked directly with Governor Parson and I asked for one thing – give us steady doses and give us more doses.”
The Missouri National Guard will host another mass vaccination clinic this Saturday in north St. Louis County at the North County Rec Center on Redman Road from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“So, we’ve been doing this since Jan. 26 and so far, as of to date, I’ve just heard we’ve helped to vaccinate over 116,000 Missouri residents,” said Capt. Jeremy Idleman, Missouri National Guard.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.