Cook County to Receive Over 18K Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Doses Thursday

Dado Ruvic | Reuters

Over 18,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are set to arrive in Cook County Thursday, the health department said.

The Cook County Health Department said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments are expected Thursday, though officials did not detail more information on the rollout.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine shipments began Monday, with Chicago and Illinois expecting to receive an estimated dose count above 100,000 by the end of the week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said doses are expected across the state, with roughly 22,000 planned for Chicago and another 83,000 for the remaining regions.

More than 90% of the newly authorized vaccine will go to mass vaccination sites throughout the state, with the remaining doses shipped to other providers, officials said. IDPH noted that the total doses does not include those going to Chicago, which will receive its own allocation.

“As Dr. Fauci and many medical experts have pointed out time and again, we are so fortunate to have three effective vaccines that are proven to fully protect against death and hospitalization,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “The new Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be distributed for use at mass vaccination sites across the state, so that we are maximizing their capacity and getting as many eligible Illinoisans vaccinated as possible so that we can win the race against the new virus variants and end this pandemic.”

Chicago's Department of Public Health also said the city anticipates its first doses of the third approved vaccine will arrive this week.

"The Emergency Use Authorization approval for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is great news for the city of Chicago’s vaccination efforts," the department said in a statement. "The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective, especially in preventing severe illness and death, requires a single dose and has fewer reported side effects than other available COVID-19 vaccines."

The department said further information on how the newest vaccine will be distributed will be released "when we can."

Johnson & Johnson began shipping its coronavirus vaccine across the United States on Monday for injections starting on Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson will deliver about 16 million more doses by the end of March. The company's CEO Alex Gorsky said on NBC's "Today" show that the company expects to distribute 100 million shots by June and a billion by the end of the year.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted overwhelmingly Sunday to recommend the vaccine for adults 18 years old and up. It adds to the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that were authorized in December.

The news also comes as the city prepares to launch a mass vaccination site at the United Center this month in partnership with the federal government. The site plans to offer vaccinations for all eligible Illinois residents.

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