Peoria’s mass vaccination site is dependent on J&J vaccine availability

A mass COVID-19 vaccination site for the Peoria area is not out of the question.

But Peoria City / County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson says whether it actually happens depends on how much Johnson & Johnson vaccine the area receives.

“What we’re seeing with Johnson & Johnson is that they are very good with our self-service clinics, which we don’t have in our area,” he said. “So if we see a large amount of allocation for Johnson & Johnson, that is something that we would highlight as one of our options.”

Hendrickson said that in that scenario, local hospitals would continue to focus on administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“Moderna and Pfizer would continue to be in our hospital systems,” he said. “Not necessarily because of the request of the hospital system, but because the monitoring and storage mechanisms make it a better environment to distribute.”

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses and cold storage for full efficacy. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is single-dose and can be stored more easily.

Hendrickson said local health departments already have a lot of experience with self-service vaccination clinics through the flu shot.

The Peoria area has yet to receive a shipment of J&J vaccines. Most of the state’s first shipment of the J&J vaccine went to existing mass vaccination sites in the state.

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