Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds receives J & J vaccine during press conference

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine begins arriving in Iowa.
Posted at 11:06 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 18:02:55-05

JOHNSTON, Iowa. (KMTV) — Reynolds said the state has received its first shipments of the new, single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Johnson & Johnson and touted the “gamechanger” that it will be in vaccination efforts. She also received her dose of the new vaccine before answering questions from members of the audience.

For much of the press conference, Reynolds urged people to get vaccinated and assured Iowans that the data shows the new vaccine is safe — something backed up by University of Iowa Infectious Disease Specialist Patricia Winokur. Winokur took part in trials of Pfizer’s vaccine at the University of Iowa and said Johnson & Johnson’s version of the vaccine was well-studied before it was approved.

This week, Iowa will receive a total of 25,600 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Reynolds said, due to the fact that it can be kept in a refrigerator and that it only requires a single dose, it will allow much more flexibility in its administration and scheduling.

For older Iowans who may not have access to the internet or someone to help them register for a vaccination, help is on the way.

Starting on Tuesday, March 9, Iowa’s toll-free 2-1-1 service will be bringing on 75 “vaccine navigators” who will assist people in setting up their vaccinations at Hy-Vee Pharmacies across the state. The service will operate 24/7 said 211 Director Melissa McCoy and will offer multi-lingual support.

People should be prepared to take down the date, time and address of their appointment. While 211 can help schedule the appointment, they cannot reschedule them. People who have registered will need to call the pharmacy where their appointment was made to make changes to do that.

Towards the end of the press conference — about ten minutes after receiving Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine — Reynolds said she felt great and again encouraged Iowans to do their part and get vaccinated as soon as possible and with whatever form vaccine is available.

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