MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The COVID vaccination process is picking up steam in South Florida and got a boost Wednesday with the initial approval of the new ‘one dose’ Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
It could arrive in South Florida as soon as next week.
On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis said they are still figuring out how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be put in the distribution mix.
“We are working on how we are going to use it because if we set up a site or add to a site and some people may say I want the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine and we want people to be able to make those choices,” he said.
Broward Health is giving one thousand doses, a day of the COVID vaccine at the soccer stadium in Fort Lauderdale.
CBS4 spoke to 68-year-old Maria Stein who had just received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I feel protected, but I will still keep my distance, especially with the flu season here and everything else. I think that’s very important,” she said.
Experts agree because while the vaccines can protect you they are not a cure for COVID.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, 21 days apart, and is 95 percent effective at preventing illness.
The Moderna vaccine is also two shots, but 28 days apart.
It’s nearly 95 percent effective at preventing illness.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was overall 66 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID illness.
According to the governor, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 100 percent effective at preventing death and virtually 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations.
Veronica Salazar, an infectious disease pharmacist at Jackson Health North says even though the J and J vaccine has an overall 66 percent rate at preventing illness, it is another vital tool for controlling the pandemic.
“If you have some kind of protection, even if it’s 66 percent at least it will give you antibodies, which means some protection versus not having any,” says Salazar.
“If you protect yourself, you can also protect loved ones in your house and people you work with. So, the more people vaccinated decreases the rate of transmission and more people having the disease,” she says.
But remember just because you are vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t get COVID.
“We still don’t know how long the vaccine will protect us. It’s an ongoing study that will provide light. We should still wear a mask practice social distancing because we only have a small portion of the population vaccinated and hopefully there will be more as we get more of the vaccines,” said Salazar.