Dr. Avula gives an update regarding J&J vaccine rollout in the Commonwealth


Henrico County Health Districts Director Dr. Danny Avula, gestures during a news conference at the Government Center Thursday April 2, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Avula gave an update on the Canterbury Rehabilitation Center COVID-19 cases and deaths. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City and Henrico County Health Department Director Dr. Danny Avula gave an update on Virginia’s current vaccination efforts.

The main focus of the briefing was to talk about the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Within the next couple of days, Dr. Avula said Virginia would have received right around 69,000 doses of the vaccine. In the first couple of weeks, the newly approved single-dose vaccine will be prioritized for mass vaccination events.

According to Dr. Avula, 14,000 J&J vaccines will be provided to the Crater, Chesterfield, Richmond/Henrico and Chickahominy districts collectively.

Dr. Avula believes the J&J vaccine would best work for people who present more of a challenge to be located. He listed people in hospitals, people being transferred to long/short-term rehabilitation facilities, the homeless community and other groups as examples.

The director addressed the concerns from the public about the efficacy of the J&J vaccine.

He said there is nothing trickier about the J&J vaccine compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. He said actually, a single-dose is easier logistically.

However, he understands why eyebrows are raised. During the briefing, he ensured that all three vaccines are safe and that residents should take whichever vaccine they’re eligible for.

Dr. Avula said health officials have to be ultra clear about what vaccines people are getting and signing up for in order to be completely transparent to the community. He said by June, residents should be able to sign up and register for the vaccine of their choice.

For more information regarding COVID-19 vaccines and cases visit the Virginia Department of Health website here.

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