SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is coming to the Syracuse VA Hospital. Starting Sunday and Monday, veterans in Central New York can get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Syracuse VA Medical Center is opening its first two Johnson & Johnson drive-up vaccination clinics. The clinics will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 11 and 12 in the VA Hospital Parking Garage.
The VA Hospital has received about 1,200 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine from Onondaga County this week. Bob McLean, the Syracuse VA Hospital Public Affairs Officer, said this week’s supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be a game changer for its clinics.
“Up to now, we’ve been doing the Moderna, but now we have an adequate supply of the Johnson [& Johnson] one-shot vaccine,” McLean said. “We’ve got a sufficient number of doses now that we can conduct large scale clinics.”
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Joining Moderna and Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson became the third approved COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. According to data from the FDA, the vaccine is 72% effective and 86% protective against severe forms of COVID-19 in the U.S.
Out of the three vaccines, Johnson & Johnson is the only one-shot immunization. McLean said the single dose will be enticing for a veteran population hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Some people prefer that because it is easier logistically. They only have to come for the one shot,” McLean said. “So, we’re trying to meet all of the needs we can.”
McLean said he expects the hospital to administer all of the doses it’s received from the county for its Johnson & Johnson clinics next week. McLean said the vaccines will be a hot commodity amongst its veteran community.
“We’ve got about 39,000-40,000 veterans that we care for on a regular basis, and we’re offering the vaccine to all of them,” McLean said.
The clinics are open to veterans 18 and older, and proof of veteran status is required. To make a vaccination appointment, call (315) 425-4488. The phone line is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As of Wednesday, April 7, in Onondaga County, 182,587 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 127,425 people have completed the vaccine series, according to the New York state COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.