More than 2.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines are being shipped to Texas vaccine providers this week, and that means more doses for the Red River Valley.
Nearly 3,000 doses of vaccine are on the way to Lamar, Red River and Fannin counties in the 17th week of the state’s vaccine rollout, according to Texas Department of State Health Services records, and the majority of them are manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Previously, most local providers received Moderna’s two-shot vaccine while a few received Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. Only the vaccines made by Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency authorization.
The Paris-Lamar County Health District, considered a vaccine hub by the state’s Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, will receive 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, a switch from Moderna’s vaccine. A clinical trial found Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has a lower efficacy, about 72%, than the other two vaccines, but it is effective at preventing severe Covid-19 infection. No trial participants who received the vaccine were hospitalized or died from the coronavirus.
The vaccine change was welcomed by health district director Gina Prestridge.
“I am hoping since we are receiving J&J now we will keep getting it. It will definitely cut down on a lot of work,” she said of the single dose vaccine.
While the Paris-Lamar County Health District does not know which vaccine it will receive until it’s received, Prestridge confirmed it will continue to get Moderna’s second dose to cover those who received their first dose during the city’s vaccine clinics.
To register for the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine, go to paristexas.gov/covidvaccinelist and choose a time slot. Walk-ins are always welcome, subject to availability. There is no cost associated with vaccination, officials said. Anyone in the U.S. may register.
One hundred doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccines each are allocated to Brookshire’s Pharmacy, Paris Family Physicians and Walgreens Pharmacy, all in Paris. In Red River County, Paris Regional Medical Center Healthcare Group will get 400 Johnson & Johnson doses while Red River Urgent Care will get 100.
Texoma Medical Center in Bonham, also considered a vaccine hub by the state, will receive another 1,170 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses, state records show.
No shipments were designated for Delta County.
As of Monday, 12.5 million doses have been administered in Texas, and 4.7 million Texans are fully vaccinated. The state received its first shipments of vaccines on Dec. 14, and on March 29 opened eligibility to every Texan age 16 and older.