California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)

California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week if approved for emergency use, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

The J&J vaccine, currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, would be the third to hit the market place. Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which requires two doses, the J&J is a single-dose vaccine. The J&J vaccine is also easier to store.

The possibility of a third vaccine comes at time when supply constraints are limiting the state from vaccinating more people.

“Assuming the emergency use authorization of the J&J vaccine, we will now have three vaccines,” Newsom said, speaking at a press conference in Fresno County.

He said that the state anticipates receiving 380,300 doses of the J&J vaccine next week and the same amount in the each of the next two weeks, for a total of 1.1 million doses.

“That single dose provides opportunities to bring those doses and vaccines to where people are because those doses don’t require the storage that the Moderna and Pfizer does require,” Newsom said.

It was not yet clear what counties would receive the doses. The state has a contract with Blue Shield to oversee distribution of the orders to the counties.

“We will figure out where to land in terms of the distribution,” Newsom said.

He also said that people should not prefer one over the other. “Take the shot when it’s your turn. Get any of these shots,” Newsom said. “It’s going to save your lives.”

As of Friday, the state has administered more than 8 million doses of vaccine.

In San Francisco, 149,646 residents over the age of 16, or 20 percent, have received the first dose of the vaccine, while 8 percent have received their second dose, city data shows as of Friday.

“It’s all now about manufactured supply,” Newsom said. “It’s the only constraint in terms of our capacity to do more and better.”

He said that the supply of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are starting to increase, along with the predictability of the delivered supply with an outlook of three weeks. Counties have not had the three-week outlook, which has created logistical challenges, but Newsom said they will beginning March 1.

The state received 1.46 million doses this week, Newsom said, and expects to receive 1.58 million next week and 1.63 million the following week.

“The allocations are starting to increase,” Newsom said. “We now have a three-week window into the future.”

As more people are being vaccinated, California’s new cases are declining.

Newsom called the downward trend “remarkable,” noting that “one month ago today we reported 17,000 cases of COVID, today 5,400.”

More counties are expected to move out of the state’s most restrictive COVID purple tier next week, including San Francisco, permitting more business operations and activities.

San Francisco officials have announced they plan to allow indoor dining to resume Wednesday, assuming they are placed in the state’s the second highest red tier Tuesday.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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