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Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Shipment Likely Coming To Massachusetts Next Week, Baker Says

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that while the state expects to receive its first shipment of the recently approved Johnson & Johnson single-shot COVID vaccine next week, the distribution plan for the immediate future remains "a little bit up in the air."

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Vaccine Advisory Board voted unanimously Sunday to greenlight Johnson & Johnson's single-dose COVID-19 vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson currently has four million doses ready to go. The company plans to have 20 million more made by the end of March and 100 million by the end of June.

During his Monday press conference, Baker said the state is expecting a shipment for next week, though the exact amount is not yet known.

"Then you should expect there will be a bit of a pause as they ramp up production, and you probably won't see really significant amounts of additional vaccine until later this month," said Baker.

Baker stressed that the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are all "completely effective against hospitalization and death." He said there is no reason to have concern that one is better than the other.

The governor has called Johnson & Johnson a "game-changer" in recent months because it is one dose, and does not need require a deep freeze.

"It's a single dose, which for a lot of people is just a really big deal in terms of how they think about this, generally," Baker said. "It also creates far more capacity within the system, and that's no offense meant to Moderna and Pfizer. The second thing about it is it doesn't require the deep freeze, so it's much easier to make it available at far more locations."

Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible and to book an appointment or call the hotline at 211.

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