J&J doses to take a dip as California vaccine eligibility expands
OAKLAND, Calif. - California will likely run into major vaccination problems next week after a large batch of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine failed quality standards.
Only 785,000 J&J doses will be allocated to states throughout the country next week. That's a drastic drop from the 4.95 million doses allocated this week.
According to CDC data, California is the main recipient of the J&J vaccine.
"It will have an impact generally on most counties at how quickly people can get their appointments," Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia said on Thursday.
Contra Costa County opened up vaccines to everyone 16 and older in late March and relies on doses from the state and federal government.
California is set to receive a maximum of 67,600 doses next week.
A California health official says that the number will be down further in the week starting April 18, with only 22,400 doses of the J&J vaccine allocated to the state.
Although the state expects a small increase in both Pfizer and Moderna doses next week, counties must first schedule second-dose appointments.
Those who have yet to get a dose may have to wait for weeks.
Gioia told KTVU that some counties may be better off than others because they allocate vaccines directly from the federal government.
"In some counties, it may be a longer wait," he said. "Many counties do not get federal doses because they don’t run federally qualified health centers like we do."
As many counties face a significant reduction in vaccines, they wait to see what the state will do.
"You know, everything’s a question mark still," Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo said.
Unfortunately, the steep drop in supply comes just days before California's vaccine eligibility opens to everyone above the age of 16 on April 15.
This week, the state plans to reduce first dose allocation across all counties proportionately.