While Berkshire County waits on its first shipment of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, which could arrive as soon as tomorrow, local and state health officials are stressing its overall effectiveness. Officials say that people should not to dwell on the comparison with the other vaccines.

The Berkshire Eagle reports that the county’s first J& J doses will be allocated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish Center in North Adams, for clinics that could begin as soon as this weekend.

It was not clear when people would be able to sign up for those clinics.

Though the first shipments are expected to be administered through the same channels as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, local rollout coordinators suggested that they could be used later for homebound vaccinations or to perform teacher clinics.

State legislators, including Hinds, have urged Baker to set aside 72,000 doses of the J&J vaccine for teachers. The move comes after Baker’s administration urged districts to return elementary students to full in-person learning by April.

Dr. James Lederer, an infectious diseases specialist and chief medical officer for Berkshire Health Systems.

“The Pfizer, Moderna and J&J vaccines all do what they’re intended to do,” he said. They’re all able to prevent hospitalization and death. They all work. Not only that, they’re all safe.”

Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday also discouraged vaccine shopping.

“People don’t need to pick one from another, If you have a chance to get a vaccine, you should take it  whatever it is.”

As a reminder, those eligible for COVID-19 vaccines can get information and sign up at getvaccinatedberkshires.org. You can also call city of Pittsfield’s hotline at 449-5575.

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LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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