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Kate Brown got the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine 'to show it is safe and effective,' she says.

PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Dr. Joe M. Skariah administers the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to Gov. Kate Brown at the OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Scappoose on Saturday afternoon, March 6.Gov. Kate Brown was vaccinated against COVID-19 on Saturday afternoon, March 6, at the Oregon Health & Science University's clinic in Scappoose.

Brown went to the OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Scappoose to get her vaccine. She said she took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which was just authorized for emergency use last weekend by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"It was important to me to demonstrate today that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective," Brown said in a statement after receiving her vaccine. "Plus, the fact that it's only one dose makes it even more convenient for all Oregonians."

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine joins vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna among those that the FDA has cleared for deployment to stop COVID-19, which has killed more than 500,000 Americans over the past year.

Johnson & Johnson's vaccine differs from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in that only a single dose is required for maximum effectiveness. While studies suggest the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are more effective at preventing cases of COVID-19 altogether (once both doses have been administered), the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has shown similar effectiveness to those two at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death.

"The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic," said Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's acting commissioner, in a statement after the FDA signed off on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Most people who are infected with COVID-19 will develop only mild to moderate symptoms similar to those of the flu. However, COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which is entirely distinct from the influenza virus that causes the flu.

Brown added, "I want to reassure Oregonians that they should feel confident taking any of the three vaccines available to protect themselves and their loved ones."

Dr. Joe M. Skariah, a family medicine doctor who practices at the OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Scappoose, administered Brown's vaccination.

In her statement, Brown said she encourages Oregonians to "continue practicing good health and safety measures" as vaccinations continue, a process that is expected to last into summer and possibly beyond.

Right now, Oregonians age 65 and older, healthcare workers, emergency responders, educators and inmates are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

By March 29, the Oregon Health Authority says, Oregonians between the ages of 45 and 64 who have at least one condition considered to heighten their risk for COVID-19 complications will become vaccine-eligible. So will farmworkers and others who work in food processing or the seafood industries.

Younger adults with underlying health conditions, residents of multigenerational households and other frontline workers will be eligible by May 1, with adults ages 45 to 64 becoming eligible by June 1 and all other Oregonians age 16 and older becoming eligible by July 1, under the OHA's current vaccine timetable.

About 1.12 million doses of the trio of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Oregon as of Friday, March 5, according to the Oregon Health Authority.PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Gov. Kate Brown gives Dr. Joe M. Skariah an elbow bump after the doctor vaccinated her against COVID-19 at the OHSU Primary Care Clinic in Scappoose on Saturday, March 6.

By Mark Miller
Editor-in-Chief, Washington and Columbia counties
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