How Memphis is allocating 8,000 J&J vaccines

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 31, 2021 3:46 PM CT | Published: March 31, 2021 3:09 PM CT

Though the City of Memphis expects to receive more Johnson & Johnson in the coming weeks, it’s deploying what it has of the single-shot vaccine strategically. 

City of Memphis COO Doug McGowen said the J&J vaccine is currently being used primarily for those people who might be harder to reach, such as the homeless or the homebound. 

“The J&J is a much easier medium to work with,” McGowen said during Tuesday’s COVID-19 task force briefing. “It’s more stable as you’re transporting it around. The other vaccines only have a few hours of shelf life once they are opened and the vials are drawn up into the syringes.”

Pop-up sites critical to provide access to vaccine

But, the J&J vaccine is also being deployed at community-based pop-up events, especially those held in conjunction with churches “where there may be some vaccine hesitancy and we worry about uptake of a second vaccine,” McGowen said. 

A number of partners are slated to host community-based pods over the next few weeks. Other local providers, such as pharmacies and clinics, are also requesting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and should get doses when they are available. 

According to Ursula Madden, Memphis’ chief communications officer, the area has received 8,000 doses of J&J. 

Single-dose Johnson & Johnson headed to state; details regarding Shelby unclear



COVID vaccine Johnson & Johnson
Mary Cashiola

Mary Cashiola

Mary Cashiola is a Memphian with more than 10 years of experience in local journalism. She is also a non-runner who runs, a former ad agency copywriter, a practicing home cook and an aspiring efficiency expert.