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More vaccine soon to arrive in ND

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Allocation of COVID-19 vaccines in North Dakota are set to increase next week, creating more opportunity for more residents to get their shots.

Molly Howell is immunization program manager with the state health department. She says Thrifty White Pharmacies in North Dakota will begin receiving about 2,300 doses of vaccine every week, which will increase the number of vaccine allocation locations. And she says more doses will be made available for other sites as well.

"We did receive notice yesterday that for next week, our Moderna allocation will be increasing to 7,500 doses, so an increase of 600. So it will be 4,785 Pfizer, 7,500 Moderna, and the 2,300 Thrifty White doses."

Howell also says sometime soon, the federal government will begin allocating doses to federally qualified health centers. She says North Dakota has 18 of these health centers.

Another vaccine may also soon be ready for distribution as well. Howell says Johnson and Johnson will be applying for emergency use of their vaccine at the end of this month, and may be approved and distributed as early as the first week of March. Howell says this vaccine, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna shots, only requires one dose.

"The phase three clinical trials for Johnson and Johnson were done across three continents, and included almost 44,00 people. In the US, it was found to be 72 percent effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID, and 66 percent effective globally. But I want to stress - this vaccine offered complete protection against hospitalization and death 28 days after vaccination, and it offered 100 percent efficacy against severe disease 49 days after vaccination."

Howell says in many areas of the state, residents in the 1b group are being vaccinated – but anyone can consult the vaccine locator on the department of health website or call the hotline for local information.

That hotline is 1-866-207-2880.

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