The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was still available Friday in Carlsbad, where about 360 people with appointments rolled up their sleeves and got their shots.
Many expressed relief that they were getting their doses before the supply thins out considerably.
Next week, when millions of Californians over the age of 16 become eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the supply statewide from Johnson & Johnson will be cut by 88%.
California is expected to see a significant drop in the number of Johnson & Johnson vaccines it receives next week as millions more residents become eligible. Cierra Johnson reports.
“I’m glad it’s done. I don’t have to think about it anymore,” said Jenny Douglas of Encinitas after her shot was given by firefighters who are part of Operation Collaboration.
Several people told NBC 7 they felt lucky to get their shots. A few, like Lindley Mesa, said they felt bad that more people couldn’t be in their shoes.
“I was looking online for a couple of weeks and as soon as I could get one, it didn’t matter what my schedule was,” Mesa said. “Today I was glad to get in.”
Cal Fire, which facilitates Operation Collaboration, was also giving some second doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday.
Their spokesman called it “concerning” that the Johnson & Johnson doses would be in short supply.
“I hope that it doesn’t affect our supply too much because we have a really good thing going,” Captain Thomas Shoots said. “We want to keep that momentum going, especially as we move into April 15 where it opens up to everybody over age 16.”
Shoots said Operation Collaboration is in “wait-and-see mode” but no matter what type of vaccines they administer, they plan to continue serving different areas of the county.
NBC 7’s Dave Summers spoke to a San Diego labor lawyer about the potential for vaccine mandates.
By mid-afternoon, Shoots got the bad news. Operation Collaboration will get 62% of the 1,600 J&J doses they requested for next week.
Shoots made it clear that people who are already scheduled for the Johnson & Johnson shots will get them. Those doses have been reserved for people who have appointments on the books.
“It’s very unlikely that something would happen, but even in the past we have had to reschedule people a couple days out and it’s always worked out fine.”