Mississippi will receive shipments of newly approved COVID-19 vaccine this week

Published 1:32 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Mississippi will receive 24,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week, days after the federal government authorized use of the third vaccine.

The J&J vaccine only requires a single shot, unlike the vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna, which require two doses. In addition to being able to rapidly increase the rate at which Americans are fully vaccinated, the J&J vaccine is cheaper to produce and easier to store. It can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for up to three months, 18 times longer than the Pfizer vaccine and three times longer than Moderna’s.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the new vaccine emergency use authorization. Mississippi’s allotment makes up just over half a percent (0.61%) of the 3.9 million doses that will be distributed to states this week.

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The Johnson and Johnson vaccine comes with a lower efficacy rate than the earlier approved COVID-19 vaccines. Documents published by the FDA last Wednesday showed that the new vaccine had an overall efficacy rate of 72% and an 86% efficacy rate against severe forms of COVID-19 in the United States. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have an overall efficacy rate of about 95%.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported on Monday that 407,647 people in Mississippi — about 14% of the state’s population — have received at least their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. About 219,000 people have received both doses since the state began distributing vaccines in December.

Thousands of vaccination appointments are currently available on the MSDH website. First responders and employees of K-12 schools, preschools and daycares became eligible for vaccination on Monday.

As vaccine eligibility increases, COVID-19 cases and deaths continue their dramatic decline in Mississippi — an encouraging sign after a brutal winter spike that set new records for both statistics.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 301 new COVID-19 cases of COVID-19 and 44 coronavirus-related deaths on Tuesday. This brings Mississippi to a total of 295,295 coronavirus cases and 6,724 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

This story is republished with the permission of Mississippi Today. Click here for a link to the original story.