Wisconsin expected to receive first shipment of Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week

A vile of Johnson & Johnson's vaccine
This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, Johnson & Johnson has asked U.S. regulators to clear the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies.

MADISON, Wis. — The state Department of Health Services has announced roughly 47,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are expected to arrive in Wisconsin next week.

The initial allocation will be added to the state’s vaccine allocation strategy, according to a news release Monday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for emergency use over the weekend.

The release said the J&J vaccine will help expand the state’s vaccination efforts and reduce barriers for access.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is going to be a game changer for our statewide response to COVID-19,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “One of the biggest hurdles we have faced is supply, and this will get more vaccine into Wisconsin. This vaccine also protects people and has been shown to prevent serious illness from the virus after just one dose, which makes it more accessible to Wisconsinites and reduces the burden on our vaccine providers.”

The state distributed about 233,000 doses last week, meaning another 47,000 doses would be an increase of 20% compared to last week.

DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake said the J&J vaccine is held to the same safety standards by the FDA as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Regardless of which vaccine people are offered, Timberlake said all three are effective at protecting people against COVID-19.

“Vaccinations are some of the best tools we have to overcome this virus,” Timberlake said. “And just one year ago, we would have been astonished and thrilled to know that we would have three effective and safe vaccines available to us.”