Following new vaccine approval, those eligible hope for more available appointments

Coronavirus Local Impact

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) -A third vaccine has entered the fight against COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration issues emergency approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines on Saturday evening.

On Monday, 400 million doses of the vaccine can be shipped, 20 million by the end of March and 100 million by the end of summer.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine only requires one dose. The FDA analysis found a single shoe was 86 percent effective at preventing severe disease.

Kenny and Lee Applebaum are from the Berkshires and they are eligible for the vaccine but have run into challenges scheduling an appointment.

“By the time you fill in the information, that spot’s gone. And we’ve been doing this for what? Nine days since we were allowed?” Kenny Applebaum said.

Now they’re hoping a third vaccine could mean they get their shots sooner. However, they would prefer to receive the Moderna’s or Pfizer’s vaccine, both of which have already been on the market.

“If it’s a big delay between Johnson and Johnson, the one shot, and the others, I would go for Johnson and Johnson,” Lee Applebaum told 22News.

Following the unanimous approval from the FDA’s advisory committee, Johnson and Johnson is looking into the impacts of a second dose.

Josh Tecu from Northampton is getting his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. He said he plans to continue to follow the guidance of health officials, social distancing and wearing a mask. but with things heading in a safer direction, Tecu is looking forward to things we haven’t seen in about a year.

“I’m really looking forward to being in a crowded bar or restaurant where we can all sing hallelujah,” Tecu said.

Two more vaccines are finishing up their Phase 3 clinical trials and could be applying for FDA authorization in the spring.

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