Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine begins arriving in Texas on Tuesday

The Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is packed up and prepared to ship.

The first doses of the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Texas this week, state health officials said Monday.

The first 24,000 doses of the single-dose vaccine against the illness caused by a new coronavirus will go to federal vaccination sites in Dallas, Tarrant and Harris counties on Tuesday, and the state expects more than 200,000 doses will be allocated to Texas next week, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

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12,000 doses arrived Tuesday morning at NRG Park in Houston, though they won’t be administered there. The vaccine will be administered at other area vaccine sites and 6,000 doses will go to the Houston Health Department.

The new vaccine does not require the ultra-cold storage needed previously by the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, officials said, making storage and distribution much easier. The vaccine is said to be well-suited for homebound seniors, the homeless and others that would have trouble showing up for an appointment for a second dose.

State health officials reported 1,981 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases Monday, bringing the total for the yearlong pandemic to 2,647,845. Fifty-nine coronavirus fatalities reported brought the state’s pandemic death toll to 42,995.

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However, the estimates of active cases and hospitalizations continued to plummet. The state estimated 156,989 active COVID-19 cases Monday, 4,327 fewer than Saturday’s estimate, and 5,611 cases required hospitalization Sunday, the most recent day for which the state provided data. That was 85 fewer than Saturday’s total.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Texas has fallen by 3,102.3, a decrease of 29.3%, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

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