John Locher / AP
Friday, March 5, 2021 | 6:17 p.m.
The first single-shot COVID-19 vaccine to hit the U.S. market is rolling out Tuesday in Clark County.
The Southern Nevada Health District announced Friday that it had received 15,100 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Janssen to be distributed to local hospitals and area vaccination clinics. The Clark County allotment is among the 24,000 doses released statewide.
The Janssen option joins the two-shot regiments manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have been available in Nevada since December.
Recipients signing up for a vaccine starting next week won't be able to select a vaccine manufacturer during scheduling but might be able to on-site, depending on supply, a health district spokeswoman confirmed.
That said, health officials urge the public to take whatever is offered.
“The decisions on how best to use the Janssen vaccine will be based on how many doses will be available to us and the allotments that we actually receive,” said Dr. Cort Lohff, the health district’s acting chief medical officer, during a Wednesday briefing. “What is most important, however, that we can't emphasize enough, is that all three vaccines that are currently authorized for use have been found to be safe and effective. The best vaccine for someone to get is the one that is available to them.”
Candice McDaniel, health bureau chief of Nevada’s Bureau of Child, Family and Community Wellness, told the state’s COVID-19 task force Thursday that the Janssen shot is a good option for expanding to clinics because it only requires refrigeration — not freezers, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vials — and for people who can’t easily make a second appointment.
This includes people who are homebound or who have limited or no transportation, are in transient living situations, or who have inconsistent communications, making follow-up difficult. As such, it also addresses equity concerns, McDaniel said.
“This vaccine can play a critical role in expanding vaccine access to Nevadans who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
Misty Robinson, a Southern Nevada Health District planner, told the task force that the district is working on identifying the best groups to target for the Janssen vaccine. Specifically, the county-run University Medical Center wants to give the single shot to patients upon release.
The Janssen vaccine is also known as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Janssen is the pharmaceutical company manufacturing the vaccine and is owned by Johnson & Johnson.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine on Feb. 27.
Clark County expanded vaccine eligibility this week to include the front-line supply chain and logistics occupational group and all of the front-line community support occupations. Previously eligible groups, including members of the general public age 65 and older, can also make vaccine appointments at https://covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/vaccine/distribution/.