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Montana expected to receive 8,700 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week



HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte made the announcement on social media Monday morning that Montana is expected to receive its first doses of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine later this week.

Montana will receive 8,700 doses of the single-dose vaccine, according to the governor, and counties will begin distributing those doses the week of March 8.

According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the state has been receiving around 37,000 weekly doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as of Feb. 22.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine distribution will significantly improve the number of individuals considered vaccinated against the virus, since anyone receiving a dose will not need to have a second shot.

Data front he Food and Drug Administration lists the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to be at around 66 percent effective at preventing severe reactions to the COVID-19 virus. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines efficacy rates are both above 90 percent.

On Feb. 22, Lewis and Clark Public Health Disease Control and Prevention Division Administrator Eric Merchant told MTN that although the efficacy for Johnson and Johnson is lower than Pfizer and Moderna, it’s still higher than the best Flu vaccines, which have around a 50 percent efficacy.

“No matter what vaccine you have access to, get it because that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Merchant.

As of March 1, the State of Montana is reporting that 88,387 individuals have been vaccinated for COVID-19, roughly 8 percent of the state’s total population.

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