Locals Begin Receiving Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine

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The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department began to administer doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine to those who are eligible starting Tuesday, making it the third coronavirus vaccination available in San Diego County.

"We are offering only [Johnson & Johnson] single-dose vaccines to those within the county of San Diego guidelines," department spokeswoman Monica Munoz said.

Up until now, San Diegans had been receiving the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines. The J&J vaccinations may be the first in the county. "We can’t say for sure," said county spokesman Michael Workman on Monday.

Vaccine doses will be administered Tuesday through Friday at the Balboa Municipal Gym, 2111 Pan American Plaza. Operating hours are 9 a.m. until about 3 p.m.

Those eligible may schedule appointments by visiting the sandiego.gov website and selecting "Municipal Gymnasium at Balboa Park." A calendar page will allow people to check appointment availability by clicking on a particular date.

The emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine means that there are now three COVID-19 vaccines in circulation. And the J&J shot differs from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in some important ways that may make it a game changer. NBC News medical correspondent Dr. John Torres joined LX News to explain.

While appointment slots are filled, Munoz said that residents should continue to check during the week, as appointments may open up, based upon individuals who do not show up for their shots. Second-dose appointments already scheduled at this site will be honored.

Addie Burnett, an 80-year-old resident, told NBC 7 that she has not been able to secure an appointment for the vaccine since she does not have a cellphone or computer. For that reason, she said she'll be waiting outside the Balboa Park vaccine site every day until she can get a vaccine.

“It’s one time only and that’s a big deal for me," Burnett said about her specific interest in Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. "Let’s get it over with.”

Those not in the current eligibility tier will be turned away, Munoz added. She also advised people getting the vaccine to read all instructions on the web page prior to arriving at the gym and to wear a short-sleeve shirt.

Go here for a guide and when and how to get vaccinated in San Diego County

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