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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Arrives In Idaho — Useful For Underserved, Mobile Populations

Steven Cornfield

The first shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines are set to arrive today in Idaho. It may help underserved populations in the next vaccine group that opens on March 15.

People living in homeless shelters are part of Group 2.3. Dr. David Pate, a member of Idaho’s coronavirus taskforce, told Idaho Matters this demographic could benefit from the single-dose immunization.

“You can imagine it may be very difficult to do a followup and give a second vaccine to somebody that's homeless because they also tend to be migratory and moving,” he said.

Not everyone agrees with who’s next on the priority list, but Dr. Pate reiterated the risks associated with someone experiencing homelessness.

“If you're homeless,” he said, “you're at increased risk if you're homeless for a day or you're homeless for a month, when we should vaccinate as many of those folks as we possibly can.”

People who don’t have stable housing might not have good access to healthcare, which leaves them at higher risk for infection.

He says the Johnson & Johnson shot does have a lower rate of effectiveness than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. But it’s just as effective in keeping people out of the hospital.

Follow Gustavo on Instagram @gus.chavo for photos on this and related stories.

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