Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine available to Sask. residents starting on Wednesday

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This picture taken on April 30, 2021, shows a pack and vials of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine pictured at the ZNA Middelheim hospital in Antwerp.  (Dirk Waem/BELGA/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)
This picture taken on April 30, 2021, shows a pack and vials of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine pictured at the ZNA Middelheim hospital in Antwerp. (Dirk Waem/BELGA/AFP/Getty Images - image credit)

The single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be available to Saskatchewan residents starting Wednesday.

Saskatchewan is one of the western provinces that have requested tens of thousands of doses to increase uptake among the vaccine-hesitant.

A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving a single dose.

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine is available to residents 18 years of age and older.

Saskatchewan's initial supply consists of 2,500 doses.

The province said these doses will be available on a first come, first served basis at walk-in clinics only, due to the limited number of doses received and potential demand.

Janssen appointments cannot be booked online, it said.

For now, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available at SHA clinics in Regina, Saskatoon, Estevan, Prince Albert, Melfort, Swift Current, Moose Jaw, North Battleford and Lloydminster — although the province said additional clinics are planned.

Saskatchewan residents are being asked to check the SHA clinic location information online for the most current list of locations, dates and times.

According to Health Canada, clinical trials showed that starting two weeks after vaccination with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the vaccine is 66 per cent effective in protecting trial participants from COVID-19.

The provincial government said Saskatchewan residents can get a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine two months after their vaccination.

Health Canada has said it is safe to mix vaccine types and it has shown to improve overall immune response to COVID-19.

The provincial government noted that in clinical trials the Janssen vaccine had high efficacy at preventing hospitalization and death in people who did contract COVID-19.

Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine is a viral vector vaccine which uses a piece of a modified virus to generate an immune response — but it is not the virus that causes COVID-19.

The potential side effects from receiving this vaccine are similar to all COVID-19 vaccines, the government said.

Health Canada approved the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last March.

Entering November, the vaccine hadn't yet been administered in Canada — but the federal government was expecting 20,000 doses from France.

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