CINCINNATI – When coronavirus vaccines first hit the market late last year, brand was less important than access. Now – with three versions on the market, different availability and near universal eligibility for tri-staters 16 and over – access is still most important, but vaccine seekers need to be strategic.
“I think the overall feeling is that when you have a vaccine in front of you, you just get it, and we’ve seen that across the board,” said Dr. John Brownstein, creator of VaccineFinder.org, a website that helps users find vaccination sites and learn what branded vaccine is available there when that information becomes available.
“There are certain instances where we may see more interest in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because it is a single shot,” Brownstein said. “It’s one and it’s done. A lot of people consider this one to be just to get over it.”
Availability for the Johnson & Johnson shot could be limited in Ohio, at least for a while, as Governor Mike DeWine launches his plan to set up vaccination centers at public colleges and universities across the state. They only receive the J&J vaccine – initially around 171,000 doses. It is one of the top 10 vaccine shipments in the country.
The federal government makes the final decision on how many doses of which vaccine a state receives per week. All 50 states receive shares based on their population over 18 years of age. If a state requests less than this maximum in a given week, the remainder for the next week will be included in the state’s offer.
The Ohio vaccine brand received the most: Pfizer, the only one of the three approved vaccines for 16- and 17-year-olds.
DeWine said his Department of Health will continue to assess needs across the state on a weekly basis.
“If we see part of Ohio in an area of Ohio – a city, a zip code, whatever – (where) people are secure and there is really a lot of demand, we’re going to make sure there are more vaccines,” he said .