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The just-approved Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is coming to Indiana

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is easier to ship, store and administer.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana vaccination clinics are eager to know how much of the just approved Johnson & Johnson vaccine they are getting and when it will arrive. 

For months, clinics have been preparing for larger shipments of vaccines.

The Hamilton County Health Department has the resources to triple the number of people it vaccinates.

Howard County is ready and waiting to double the 1,200 vaccinations it's administrating each week.

"We would be able to expand that immediately," said county commissioner Paul Wyman. "So any increases in doses that we would receive we would expand one, two, three days a week, whatever we would need to do."

The J&J vaccine is easier to ship, store and administer. It can be kept in standard refrigerators and requires only one dose.

Thomas Duszynski is an epidemiologist at the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI.

"Access should go up," Duszynski said. "What we need now is the shipments  to Indiana and into the pharmacies and the clinics so we can get shots in arms."

As the FDA gave emergency approval to a third COVID-19 vaccine, Indiana vaccinated it's one millionth person. 

One in six Hoosiers have received at least one dose. Duszynski called that a tremendous accomplishment.

"People want this vaccine. People are taking it," he explained. "They are making their appointments. They are showing up and getting vaccinated. This is one way we can control this pandemic." 

Now having more immunity is enough to slow its spread, according to Duszynski. 

It is an encouraging prospect.

"Every time there is an opportunity for an increase in doses, that means more people getting vaccinated closer and faster," Wyman said. "The closer and faster we are getting herd immunity, the closer we get to get to the other side of the virus."

The arrival of new and more vaccines can't come soon enough.