Forsyth County Department of Public Health, Novant Health, and Wake Forest Baptist Health will add the new Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine to the COVID-19 vaccines they are using to vaccinate the community.
The three organizations expect to collectively receive 9,000 doses of the vaccine sometime this week. They will continue to use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in their efforts to vaccinate as many people in qualifying groups as quickly as possible. Like the other two vaccines, which more than one million North Carolinians have received, the Janssen vaccine is built on years of research and has been proven to be safe and effective.
Unlike the other vaccines, the Janssen vaccine is given in a single shot, and it can be stored under refrigerated conditions. This makes it is easier to ship, store and administer. Similar to the two dose vaccines available, possible temporary reactions to the vaccine include a sore arm, fever, headache or feeling tired and achy for a day or two.
“We’re excited to have another tested, safe and effective vaccine available,” said Public Health Director Joshua Swift. “This will be significant in our collective efforts to vaccinate the community and make sure everyone has access to the vaccine. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated when it is your turn for a vaccine, regardless of the type of vaccine that is available.”
“A one-shot vaccine is a game-changer,” said Dr. Pam Oliver, executive vice president and president, Novant Health physician network. “We recognize that it can be difficult to take time off work, especially twice in a month. With a one-dose option, it’s now even easier for people to protect themselves against COVID-19. Like the two-dose vaccines already available, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and effective. A third vaccine option also means additional appointments for our community, which is a step in the right direction.”
"As an infectious disease physician, I am confident that having another safe and effective vaccine will bring us one step closer to protecting our community,” said Wake Forest Baptist Health President Dr. Kevin High. “All three of these vaccines have been found to be effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths and we are grateful to those right here in the Triad who were among the almost 45,000 volunteers who participated in the clinical trial for this vaccine.”
As of Feb. 26, COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to 48,951 people in Forsyth County, which is 12.8 percent of the county’s population. Of those receiving first dose, 24 percent went to racial minorities with 17 percent administered to African-Americans. Hispanics accounted for 3.17 percent of the first doses given. All three organizations remain committed to equity in vaccine administration and are holding community vaccination events in historically marginalized communities to ensure greater access to the vaccine.