J&J, the 1-dose vaccine, will be prioritized for homeless and other vulnerable residents

Dr. Hoa Nguyen (PNC photo)

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine arrived on Guam this past Monday.

With only 1,300 doses, Public Health had to make choices about who gets it.

Dr. Hoa Nguyen, of the Physician’s Advisory Group, said there’s one community that should’ve been included.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine only needs one dose to fully vaccinate someone.

This unique property informed Public Health’s decision on who gets it.

They chose to focus on communities that are extremely vulnerable or have difficulty going back for a second dose.

The communities that were chosen were the homeless, those who are homebound, and members of adult daycare and senior citizen centers.

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Dr. Hoa Nguyen told Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Wednesday morning that he thinks the FSM community should’ve been included as well.

“The other one that I’m surprised…I really mentioned about … during the meeting too … is the FSM community which I think has to be prioritized. I don’t see that one yet. I really will push to get the FSM community to get vaccinated. Especially for convenience, for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine also. Because sometimes..again, they are one of the very highest risk group of them all. And sometimes it’s very hard for them to get to a clinic to get the second dose,” Nguyen said.

This past October, Public Health’s Rapid Engagement Team held COVID testing in the northern part of the island where there was a spike of cases in the FSM community.

A higher likelihood of multigenerational homes in that community was one of the potential factors that the spike in cases was attributed to.

Dr. Nguyen also said that in the past, many in the FSM community have had difficulty attending vaccination clinics.

He said that his recommendation is to reach out ahead of time with public education efforts and then work through community leaders to set up vaccination clinics where people in the community live.

“The best way for the hard-to-reach populations is to make an effort to go on-site and give the vaccination. That’s the best way to do it,” the doctor said.