Soon after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. immediately ordered 400 doses of the vaccine yesterday, even as the CNMI is expected to receive more than 13,000 COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Inc. within this week.
According to CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muña the shipment of 9,360 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and 4,600 Moderna Inc. COVID-19 vaccine is expected this week, but there has yet to be a confirmed shipment date.
As for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Muña said that the CNMI was allocated 400 doses and those doses were ordered on March 1.
According to several media outlets, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one-dose vaccine that is said to protect against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease two weeks after people get vaccinated. Within four weeks of getting the shot, clinical trial shows that there were no hospitalizations or deaths.
Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), who initially announced the shipment of the 13,000 vaccines, said in his newsletter that this is a 20% increase over the February allocation of the Pfizer vaccine, and a 43% increase in the February allocation of the Moderna vaccine.
With these additions, it brings a total allocation of 30,810 doses for the Pfizer vaccine, and 12,800 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
According to the CHCC’s dashboard, 10,375 people on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota have already received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses, while 7,441 has completed the two-dose series.
As CHCC prepares for more allocations, their closing date for full-time temporary hires for the COVID-19 Mass Vaccinations Operations is today, March 2.
CHCC is currently looking for staff to assist in the vaccination efforts. The temporary positions will not include benefits and will last for three to six months. Applications can be found at https://chcc.gov.mp/jobopportunities.php.
COVID-19 in Guam
The Joint Information Center in Guam said that Guam had run out of vaccines by last Friday–even for those who already had appointments. JIC said that the delay is due to a global demand which affected the supply of the vaccine.
For those scheduled for vaccinations last Saturday, they would have to wait about a week for March’s allocations of COVID-19 vaccines to arrive.