Dr. Avula gives an update regarding J&J vaccine rollout in the Commonwealth


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — Richmond City and Henrico County Health Department Director Dr. Danny Avula gave an update on Virginia’s current vaccination efforts.

The main focus of the briefing was to talk about the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Within the next couple of days, Dr. Avula says Virginia would have received right around 69,000 doses of the vaccine. In the first couple of weeks, the newly approved single-dose vaccine will be prioritized for mass vaccination events.

According to Dr. Avula, 14,000 J&J vaccines will be provided to the Crater, Chesterfield, Richmond/Henrico and Chickahominy districts.

Dr. Cynthia Morrow of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts says a J&J vaccine clinic will also be held Saturday, March 6 and Sunday, March 7 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke.

Dr. Avula says he believes the J&J vaccine would best work for people who will present more of a challenge to be located. He listed people in hospitals, those being transferred to long/short-term rehabilitation facilities, the homeless community and other groups as examples.

The director addressed concerns from the public about the efficacy of the J&J vaccine.

According to Dr. Avula, there is nothing trickier about the J&J vaccine compared to the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. He said actually, a single-dose is easier logistically.

However, he understands why eyebrows are raised regarding the difference in efficacy with the vaccines. During the briefing, he ensured that all three vaccines are safe and that residents should take whichever vaccine they’re eligible for.

Dr. Avula says health officials have to be ultra clear about what vaccines people are getting and signing up for in order to be completely transparent and by June, residents should be able to sign up and register for whichever vaccine they want.

For more information regarding COVID-19 vaccines and cases visit the Virginia Department of Health website here.

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