By: Olkeriil Eoghan Ngirudelsang
Johnson & Johnson, the second type of covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Palau was distributed all over the island since last week. This single shot vaccine is unlike Moderna, the vaccine the ministry of health has been giving out which requires 2 doses.
Because it has the advantage of being administered through a single shot, this Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used primarily for those who reside in Palau’s outlying states as well as homebound citizens who may have difficulties commuting to designated vaccination areas.
Palau was able to get a total of 200 doses of the said Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This type of vaccine come in a vial of 5 and once opened; it must all be administered as they can spoil if set aside for later use.
At last week’s press conference, President Whipps told the media that this single shot vaccine was first “administered to the residence of Kayangel state where they vaccinated 40 people”. He further revealed that Palau is nearly out of vaccines and it is expecting the next batch of covid-19 vaccines to arrive on island in April 8.
“Just like Moderna, we expect to continue acquiring Johnson&Johnson vaccines in limited supply and we expect that the number will increase maybe in May and onwards” stated Deputy Incident Commander Gaafar Ucherbelau.
Talking to the press 2 weeks ago, Incident Commander Ms. Ritter Udui stated that “Moderna, which is what Palau has been administering to its citizens over the past months is said to be the Cadillac of vaccines or the most highly regarded of all current covid-19 vaccines”.
However, at press conference last week, Ucherbelau reported “We will continue to get Johnson & Johnson potentially making use of them to vaccinate people who will be travelling to medical referral and for those citizens who difficult to chase down for their second vaccine dose.” He added that it also has the advantage of not requiring intensive cold storage.
According to the US food and drug administration website, unlike Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that uses the mRNA technology; Johnson & Johnson was created using the traditional vaccine making methods that are used in the creation of Ebola vaccines as well as other numerous vaccines that are currently administered throughout the world.