OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma is expected to receive 31,500 doses this week of a newly approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine that only requires one dose, making it ideal for people who may have problems making two appointments, state health officials said Monday.
The new vaccine also doesn’t require ultra-cold storage, giving state health officials more flexibility in storing and distributing, Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed said.
“A one-shot vaccine is useful to reach populations in more remote, rural areas,” Reed said, as well as for people with transportation or health problems that might make it difficult to show up for a second appointment.
Reed said the new vaccine offers strong protection against what matters most: serious illness, hospitalizations and death.
So far, more than 1.1 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered in Oklahoma, Reed said. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma currently ranks 10th among states, with 17.9% of its population having received at least one dose, compared to a national average of 15.3%.
Oklahoma on Monday reported 380 confirmed new cases of coronavirus and 50 new deaths, bringing the total number of confirmed infections in Oklahoma to 424,888 and the death count to 4,478.