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State facing big drop in J&J vaccine supply

April Franklin

New York state leaders say COVID-19 vaccine distribution sites and eligible population exceed the supply coming from the federal government, particularly the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Production of the popular vaccine was disrupted when a “bad batch” had to be thrown out after a Baltimore facility mixed up the ingredients.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is scheduled to receive 34,900 J&J shots next week, which is an 88% week-over-week decrease.

Despite these limitations, Cuomo says no appointment should be canceled. 

He said the state is still prepared to vaccinate everyone who is eligible. 

Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County's public health commissioner, says anyone waiting for the J&J vaccine should reconsider.

Mendoza said the county has an abundant supply of the Moderna vaccine, and he anticipates more doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be available within the coming weeks.

The FDA has only approved the Pfizer vaccine for those younger than 18.

Mendoza says achieving some normalcy this summer relies heavily on vaccination. 

In the Finger Lakes region, 97% of vaccine doses received have been administered, according to the state.