First doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Maricopa County, officials say

Officials with Maricopa County say essential workers could be vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine later this week or this weekend.

According to a statement released by officials with the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management, the county has received its first shipment of about 34,000 Johnson and Johnson doses, and the county is finalizing plans and partnerships to begin administering those doses.

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine, which was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27, differs from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine that are currently in use, as it is given in one dose.

J&J's COVID-19 vaccine can also be stored up to three months at refrigerator temperatures, making it easier to handle than the previous vaccines, which must be frozen.


While early J&J supplies will be small, the company has said it can deliver 20 million doses by the end of March and a total of 100 million by the end of June.

One challenge in rolling out the new vaccine will be explaining how protective the J&J shot is after the astounding success of the first U.S. vaccines.

The two-dose Pfizer and Moderna shots were found to be about 95% effective against symptomatic COVID-19. The numbers from J&J’s study are not that high, but it's not an apples-to-apples comparison. One dose of the J&J vaccine was 85% protective against the most severe COVID-19. After adding in moderate cases, the total effectiveness dropped to about 66%.

J&J is also studying whether a second dose boosts protection.

Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases has urged Americans to get any one of the three COVID-19 vaccines that have been given FDA approval thus far in the U.S. once it’s available to them.

Related: Fauci says Americans shouldn't compare J&J COVID-19 vaccine to others and should accept 1st available

The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report

Further Reading

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news

Get the latest coronavirus news by downloading the FOX 10 News App. Our promise is that our alerts are there to inform you - not scare you.

Sign up for FOX 10 email alerts, newsletters

COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

COVID-19 resources

CDC Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

AZDHS Website for COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)