Orange County can no longer provide Johnson & Johnson vaccinations as an option at its mass-vaccination site because the state of Florida has stopped supplying that brand to the county, Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Monday.
At his Monday news conference on COVID-19, Demings expressed some concern that people in Orange County wishing to get the quickest protection might not be able to get the protection in time to prevent a COVID-19 infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine provides full protection after just one shot, while the other two brands, Pfizer and Moderna, require two shots, given at least three weeks apart.
Neither Demings nor Dr. Raul Pino, the Orange County health officer from the Florida Department of Health, expounded on why the county can no longer obtain the Johnson & Johnson brand. They said only that the state is no longer offering it to Orange County.
The Florida Department of Health did not provide confirmation, explanation, or response right away to an inquiry about the Mayor’s comments.
“Starting today, Camping World will be administering Pfizer only,” Demings said. “Our supply from the state of Florida of Johnson & Johnson has not been replenished. So from now on, it will be only Pfizer that will be given out at Camping World Stadium.”
Orange County provides drive-up vaccinations at Camping World Stadium. The site is providing vaccinations for up to 750 people per day. The line there was shut down early on both Saturday and Sunday because of excess demand.
When asked about it later at a news conference, Pino said he thinks the county may be able to get more Johnson & Johnson, but not right now.
“Johnson & Johnson, at this point, we have no ability to order Johnson & Johnson. That will change, I believe, but right now, the state has advised us that ‘what we have is what we have,’ and they will let us know in the future there is going to be more,” Pino said.
Johnson & Johnson is often preferred by travelers who need to get vaccinated to go somewhere, as they can be prepared to travel much sooner.
The Johnson & Johnson efficacy is generally lower than either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations, but it takes full effect much quicker.
“My biggest concern is that a person who could be possibly prevented from getting the virus doesn’t get the vaccine in time to prevent themselves from being infected,” Demings said.