LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock Health Department has obtained an allocation of 5,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, something public health officials and members of the public have long sought.
“A lot of people have been calling the health department saying I only want J&J,” Director of Public Health Katherine Wells said. “A lot of people only want that one dose. We’ve been advocating, trying to get it. So, I really hope to see an increase in people coming to the clinics this week.”
Wells told KCBD she’s requested the J&J vaccine from the State of Texas each week since it was authorized for emergency use by the FDA. This was the first time the request was fulfilled, in the final month of the Lubbock Health Department’s hub clinic at the Civic Center which has been administering the Moderna vaccine.
“We will be able to give the J&J vaccine, which only requires one dose, while people are getting their second doses,” Wells said. “That’s a good use of all of those resources that are pouring into that clinic.”
Wells expects a significant increase in the local vaccination rate, since the J&J vaccine only requires that one dose, but only if people seek out the vaccination.
“I hope that that pent up demand of people wanting that J&J, I encourage them to come out this week,” Wells said. “Let’s get Lubbock vaccinated.”
A limited amount of Moderna first doses are still available for the public. The necessary second doses for those who require one from the health department will also be available, even as the clinic downsizes to the Mahon Library in May.
“All of them are effective,” Wells said. “The goal is for people to get the first vaccine that’s offered to them. Now, we have a lot of choice here in Lubbock, because we’ll still be offering Moderna. We have Pfizer at a lot of our pharmacies here in town.”
Wells said the health department also has Pfizer doses available for 16 to 17 year olds if you call the department.
It’s expected the clinic at the Mahon Library will administer about 200 to 300 doses a day. The health department will also become mobile throughout the community.
“After April we’ll be going to church groups, to our community centers,” Wells said. “Vaccine will be out in the community and the health department will be there giving it, possibly at health fairs, like the Fourth on Broadway, those types of events. We plan to have vaccine available for those who want it.”
For clinic appointment information, click here.