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Johnson & Johnson vaccine could arrive in Shasta County next week

Shasta County health leaders say that vaccine could arrive early as next week. It’s still unknown how many doses the county will be receiving.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 5:49 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 6:53 PM

REDDING, Calif. - The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could soon be in Shasta County.

Shasta County health leaders said the vaccine could arrive early as next week. It’s still unknown how many doses the county will be receiving.

Public Health said it’s still ironing out the distribution details. The Johnson & Johnson is a one-dose vaccine, which doesn’t need to be stored at extreme temperatures like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

“It gives people a choice and it's also just one shot,” said Bonnie Hill from Palo Cedro. “People might prefer that.”

Because of that, and the fact it’s a one-shot dose, Public Health said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would be ideal for people who are homebound or lack transportation.

“With just an increase in vaccines in general that will help us move more quickly,” said Robin Schurig, the Public Health Branch Director, “with this vaccine just being one dose, somebody receives one dose and then they're done.”

“As with the other vaccine, they receive one dose, and then they have to wait a number of weeks before their fully vaccinated. It will help us move through phases more quickly.”

People eligible to get vaccinated include health care workers, residents in long-term care facilities, people who are over 65-years-old, emergency services personnel, and educators and childcare providers.

The Redding Rancheria will get 600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Monday.

The Rancheria gets its vaccine supply from the Indian Health Services and not the county.

The FDA approved the emergency use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday.

Many of those getting doses right now are the people who work with our kids after Gov. Newsom pushed that group to the front of the line.

Shasta County Public Health is trying to schedule teachers interested in getting the vaccine, into different vaccination clinics. Especially those who missed the first mass vaccinations.

“I believe we're very close to 100% of the school staff who were interested in vaccines have received their first dose,” said Kerri Schuette, the public health information officer for the Shasta Health and Human Services Agency. “Most of the second doses are already scheduled.”

Public health said teachers who wanted to get vaccinated already received their first doses. The county is now working to get second doses out to those educators.

Second doses clinics are scheduled for this week and next.

“If you want the schools to open up safely and the kids to return back, you should have the teachers, as many of them who wanted to vaccinated, get vaccinated,” said Carmen Turner of Cottonwood.

Shasta County Public Health said about 2,000 educators in the county have been vaccinated.

As people throughout the county get vaccinated, the county is seeing a spike in COVID-19 related deaths.

Action News Nows looked into those COVID-19 deaths from February 1 to March 2, and found 38 COVID-19 related deaths,

Public health believes these deaths are still from the holidays because it takes weeks to determine if those deaths are actually covid-19 related.

Health leaders said when there is a surge in cases, it seems more people in the hospital, and then a surge in deaths.

“We report them once in fact it has been determined that they are in fact a COVID-19 death,” said Schurig. “Some of them might have happened weeks or sometimes months ago because that process does take a while. We believe most of those are a result of the holiday surge.”

Shasta County Public Health said the number of COVID-19 related deaths does not impact a county's tier placement.

In January, Shasta County reported 64 COVID-19 related deaths.

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