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Arizona health director not worried over slashed J&J vaccine allotment

A vial with the Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine is seen at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. The Vaxmobile, is a COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit, sponsored by a partnership between Mount Sinai South Nassau and Town of Hempstead to bring the one-dose vaccine directly to hard-hit communities in the area. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

PHOENIX — Arizona’s top public health official said Friday there’s no concern over the state’s Johnson & Johnson vaccine allotment being cut for next week.

Dr. Cara Christ, the director for the Arizona Department of Health Services, said the state was prepared for complications with rollouts in the first couple of months.

Johnson & Johnson had to discard 15 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine last month because the batch did not meet quality standards.

Arizona received 101,700 J&J doses last week. The state will receive 12,000 doses for the upcoming week.

“We knew the first month or two we would get some one week and the next not get as much,” Christ said during a press conference. “So we’ve been planning on the mass vaccination events with the Pfizer and the Moderna but the Johnson & Johnson… as much as we can get we’ll take.”

The one-shot COVID-19 vaccine has been available in Arizona for about a month.

Arizona’s state-run mass vaccination sites typically use Pfizer with some Moderna.

Christ said rural areas would have the greatest chance of being affected by the slashed distribution.

Arizona is receiving 189,540 Pfizer doses and 138,200 doses of Moderna next week.

“It’s unfortunate in those areas where it’s hard to get a second dose but we were prepared for uneven distribution,” Christ said.

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