(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) About a week after receiving authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine has already been administered to thousands of Missourians.
The quick turnaround forced organizers of ongoing mass vaccination events to think on their feet.
"We didn’t really know that we were getting Johnson and Johnson until kind of at the last minute," Jayne White, Regional Implementation Team, Region H said.
In the case of the Eastern Kansas VA Health care system, organizers quickly assembled a vaccination event with the new single dose vaccine. Staff also broadened eligibility requirements to get more veterans vaccinated.
"Getting that second vaccine available to us with [Johnson and Johnson] allowed us to open the criteria a lot more." Joe Burks, Communication director said.
Despite only having days to reserve spots for the new vaccine, those eligible made sure they receive their dose.
The vaccine is currently the only one that only requires a single shot, a welcome change for both patients and administers.
"I’m kinda glad it’s just one shot," Charlotte Ramos, a veteran said.
"It makes it easy as far as the logistical side of it," White said.
As more and more Missourians get vaccinated, many are keeping the faith of finally returning to normal.
"I know it’s gonna take some time," Ramos said. "I know that everyone at one point is gonna be able to get the shot."