BRHD Receives Johnson & Johnson Vaccines
COVID-19 vaccines now are available from three drug manufacturers: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. This is good news because it means both an increase in supply and more tools to help protect people. The newest vaccine is made by Johnson & Johnson and is a single-dose vaccine that has proven to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from the disease. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found it to be safe and effective, and on February 27, 2021, authorized it for emergency use for individuals ages 18 years and older. 

This week, Virginia received 69,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines which will be prioritized for mass vaccination clinics across the state, including in the Blue Ridge Health District.

On Tuesday, BRHD received 2,000 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. We will administer these on Friday and Saturday at vaccination clinics designated for individuals ages 65+ from throughout the District. Invitations to schedule an appointment at these clinics will be sent today, via email, to 2,000 individuals ages 65+ that are next on the list to be vaccinated (in order of when they completed a BRHD pre-registration survey). BRHD is temporarily using EventBrite to schedule appointments. Individuals will receive a branded email from EventBrite inviting them to the Johnson & Johnson clinics. All those with appointments will confirm their appointment at check in and register onsite in our statewide PrepMod system. Remember, EventBrite invitations can often end up in a Gmail "Promotions" folder. There will be a waitlist of individuals ages 65+, who are next on the survey list, that will be called should there be any vaccine left towards the end of the clinics. As a reminder, all BRHD vaccine clinics remain by appointment only. 

BRHD is excited to begin offering another COVID-19 vaccine. However, due to limited supply of this new vaccine, BRHD will not receive more Johnson & Johnson vaccines for at least the next two weeks.

See the infographic and information below to learn more about the three COVID-19 vaccines.
Which Vaccine is Right for Me?
The right vaccine is the vaccine you have access to first!

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines. Both use the same process and although some minor ingredients are slightly different between the two, they do the same thing in your body. They are both safe and effective. Both are approximately 95% effective at preventing symptomatic illness and about 100% effective at preventing severe disease that would lead to hospitalization. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses an adenovirus - a specific family of viruses - to hold a single protein from SARS-CoV2 on its surface. Adenoviruses are common in humans and the one that is used as the base cannot replicate once it’s inside your body or make you sick. It just serves as a platform to hold the SARS-CoV2 S protein. Your immune system will see the protein and build defenses against it. This way, if you are ever infected with the real thing, your body will destroy the virus before you get sick. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown to be 72% effective in the US at preventing symptomatic illness, 85% effective at preventing severe disease, and 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death. Only one dose is needed for this vaccine, which means that more doses will be available to more people. This also presents a solution for those who may have barriers to accessing vaccination sites for more than one appointment. There have been no reports of severe side effects or allergic reactions in recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccination protects you and those around you. Delaying vaccination not only delays that protection, but also extends the duration of the pandemic. No vaccine offers perfect immunity from symptomatic illness, but Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines do prevent severe disease that leads to hospitalization and death. On the very low chance you were to get sick after vaccination, you would still be protected from the worst consequences of COVID-19. The longer COVID-19 circulates, the risk of new variants arising increases. By being vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and your loved ones, as well as participating in the solution for the whole world.
Pre-Registration: How to Sign Up for Vaccines
Pre-registration for a COVID-19 vaccine - no matter if Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johsnon - is required. 

To pre-register for a vaccination, visit the centralized pre-registration portal by CLICKING HERE. For those without internet or who prefer telephone, individuals may call the Virginia COVID-19 Information Center at (877) 829-4682. This hotline is staffed Monday thru Friday 8:00am - 8:00pm.
Remember, vaccination is only one tool to end the pandemic. We need to use them all in order to return to normal day-to-day activities.
Protect yourself and others by continuing to wear your mask, keeping your distance from others, and avoiding indoor gatherings.