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Your turn’s coming: More vaccine doses coming soon to Pierce County.

Johnson & Johnson approval and more doses of other vaccines will help speed vaccinations.

Over the weekend, we received news about a new tool to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and was cleared by the CDC. We could receive doses in Pierce County as early as next week.

Though we still have a long way to go, this is the latest sign help is on the way.

Johnson & Johnson gives us another very effective tool.

Studies show the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85% effective in preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19. And we can store it without special equipment. That makes the vaccine easier to deliver and means more Pierce County residents will be vaccinated sooner.

Johnson & Johnson estimates it will produce 20 million doses by the end of March and more than 100 million by the end of June.

More doses of the other approved vaccines are on the way, too! Moderna and Pfizer plan to triple vaccine production by the end of March. More doses get us closer to the goal of community immunity.

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, your turn could be coming sooner than you think.

More improvements are on the way.

We’ve seen the smiles on thousands of faces at our community vaccination events. People received about 2,750 doses per day across Pierce County by the end of February, up from 1,100 doses a day in January.

It hasn’t been enough. Supply has been limited. Healthcare providers, pharmacies, and our mass vaccination sites are ready to push out vaccines as they become available. But we still see and hear your frustrations. You want the vaccine, but you can’t get it.

You’re not alone. 

Registration for our community events can draw tens of thousands of people to our website and social media pages. Spots are gone in minutes. Sometimes, for every person who scheduled an appointment, 10 tried and didn’t get one.

We’ve worked hard to make this process easier. We’ve listened to your feedback and simplified the registration process, and we’ll continue to make improvements and seek alternatives. We’re working on phone registration and exploring pre-registration.

We’ve also doubled the number of people working in our call center and expanded their shifts to 7-days-a-week. They’ve helped many people find appointments and answered thousands of questions.

And some of you have more barriers than others. We want to provide equitable access. At recent events, we’ve vaccinated those in urban and rural parts of our county. We’ve vaccinated members of racial and ethnic groups with higher rates of infection. And we’ve reached out to older people and others who don’t have easy access to the internet or transportation.

You can help get Pierce County back to normal.

We know more vaccine doses will speed us back toward normal life. And we know we have work to do to fill in the gaps.

Though help is on the way, we need you to continue doing your part. That means:

We see the results of your hard work in the falling 14-day-case rate and lower percentage of positive COVID-19 tests. Keep up the great work.

And if you’re waiting for your turn, have hope: More is on the way!

Learn more at tpchd.org/vaxtothefuture.

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine