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Johnson & Johnson 1-shot vaccine will be distributed throughout Arizona soon

Boxes of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are shown at the McKesson Corporation in Shepherdsville, Ky., Monday, March 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, Pool)

PHOENIX – The newly authorized Johnson & Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine should arrive in Arizona soon, and when it does it will be distributed throughout the state, Dr. Cara Christ said Tuesday.

“So we are hoping by the end of the week or the beginning of next week that we will start seeing the doses of Johnson & Johnson arrive in Arizona,” Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show.

Christ said the J&J vaccine is “just as effective” as the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer versions.

“We are very excited,” she said. “This is a game changer.”

Arizona’s 15 county health departments will work with their vaccine providers to allocate the new doses, Christ said.

“What we’d like to see is for this to be used for those front-line essential workers, get them vaccinated so that they can stay safe when they have to deal with the public on a day-to-day basis,” she said.

The third vaccine option is the latest boon to Arizona’s vaccination efforts.

On Monday, officials said two state-run sites would start offering vaccines to people age 55 and older, lowering the cutoff by 10 years.

Christ said pharmacies that administer COVID-19 vaccines are expected to lower their age requirement soon.

“We notified our federal partners yesterday about the change in eligibility,” she said. “I don’t know how long it takes for them to get those into the system, but I know that when we’ve notified our partners before, it’s been relatively quick.”

Christ said she expects anybody who wants to get vaccinated to be able to by the start of the summer.

For information about availability across the state, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with a map of locations and information about registration.

The website also has an eligibility-checker tool that lets you know if you are cleared to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligibility can vary by county, so residents should check with their local health departments.

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