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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine 'a game changer' for Virginia

Virginia is receiving 69,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. By Friday, specific health districts should have an idea of how many doses are coming their way.

SUFFOLK, Va. — The Commonwealth is about to get a big boost in vaccine supply. Johnson & Johnson began shipping out its vaccine Monday morning.

“The finish line is to get the entire population who wants to be vaccinated, fully vaccinated. With the single dose series, this gets there much quicker,” explained Will Drewery.

Drewery, a spokesperson for the Western Tidewater Health District, called the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a game changer. He said the single-dose vaccine is quick and efficient.

“We are still waiting on how many doses we are going to get and what the allocation is going to look like," he said. "Once we know what it’s going to look like, we are going to plan on what we are going to do with it.”

Drewery said Virginia would be recieving 69,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, to start off. He said by March 5, he would know how many shots his district is set receive. 

If all goes as planned, he expected the new vaccine doses to be available by next week.

“The question was asked, 'What is the best vaccine to get?' The best vaccine to is the one that you can get. The one that is offered to you. They are all effective against disease, which we are all trying to prevent,” he explained.

Drewery hoped this single-dose vaccine would speed up the process when it comes to Virginians' vaccinations.

"We don’t have to worry about tracking folks down for their dose of vaccine," he said. "We can give them their single dose and they can go about their day.”

RELATED: VERIFY: Explaining how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine works and what makes it different from others

People who received a vaccine Monday in Suffolk said the process was simple and easy.

Edwin Goodwin was getting the shot for his family.

“I registered; they had an opening throughout our medical center which is Bayview. My wife said, 'Honey you need to go ahead so we can be safe together,'” he said.

He received the Pfizer vaccine, which meant he would have to come back in a couple of weeks for his second dose. He said he’s glad Johnson & Johnson came out with another vaccine for people to take advantage of.

“The more vaccines that are given to the country, the better we are going to be to stop or slow down the spread of this virus," he said.

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