MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – When the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine came out, it seemed like a simple way to get it done in one trip. But Ohio has 230,000 doses of that vaccine that expire soon.
The Mahoning County Health Department is sitting on over 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that will expire in less than two weeks.
According to health commissioner Ryan Tekac, the pause on using that vaccine drove many to seek out other types.
“They moved on to a different product, so our numbers started to go down. You see us here in Mahoning County with the result of 1,300 doses that we’ve been using,” Tekac said.
With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine expiring, the health department is changing its vaccine strategy.
“Our plans are to use Johnson & Johnson, which we are using today, offer a clinic next Thursday. Going into that next week, we’re going to switch to Moderna, but we’ll be on an order-based system,” Tekac said.
The department has decommissioned its mass vaccination site at the Southern Park Mall, seeing a drop in overall vaccinations even though only about 45 percent of Mahoning County residents have gotten their first dose.
Tekac says every person who gets their vaccine is a success.
“Twenty-five more people vaccinated is successful. We either just have to be able to go out into the community to receive it or continue to offer these clinics for individuals who want to receive it,” Tekac said.
Tekac also says the public needs to act quickly if they want their chance at getting the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Now is the time, within the next two weeks, to receive that vaccination, and you don’t have to have an appointment. You can walk right in to our building on our Thursday clinics,” he said.