ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Dr. Raul Vazquez, a physician at Urban Family Practice, said the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is much different than the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
“It lasts for three months. I mean this thing can be stored in a refrigerator from 36 to 46 degrees for three months. That's one thing. Two, because it's very resistant, you're only going to require one shot of that,” Dr. Vazquez said.
Kathy Sautter, the public and media relations manager for Tops Friendly Markets, said this is a game changer when it comes to distributing the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I think it will help with scheduling abilities for us. People only need to come in one time, opposed to the two dose vaccines that are Moderna or Pfizer,” Sautter said.
The Erie County Health Department said the Johnson and Johnson vaccine provides a less complicated option, because it does not require a second dose within a specific time frame. It said they are prepared to handle the Johnson and Johnson vaccine if and when they receive it.
Once the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is distributed across the country, could you get to choose which vaccine you receive?
"I think that's possible. I think once the inventory gets here, so you're looking at probably 2nd quarter. By June or July, we should have enough in the pipeline so that people may have a chance to decide. But for now, we don't have enough, everything that comes in gets used," Dr. Vazquez said.
Sautter said Tops' pharmacies are preparing for that possibility.
"That's something we are looking into right now. I think everybody has that choice as an individual. We're prepping ourselves for the possibility that people might cancel appointments as a result of finding out the vaccine where they go might not be the one they're hoping for," Sautter said.
But for now, Dr. Vazquez said if you are eligible, don't wait for the kind of vaccine you prefer.
"Don't hold out. If you get access to a vaccine, please take it," Dr. Vazquez said.