First Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination clinic held at local university


WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — The Johnson & Johnson single dose coronavirus vaccine arrived in Frederick County, Virginia on Wednesday and it has already been administered to 1,500 community members during a clinic at Shenandoah University on Friday.

Janice Madigan was one of the 1,500 who received her first and only vaccine.

“It hurt just a little tiny bit, but you know, I feel great,” Madigan said. “To come in here and just get the shot one time and then you don’t have to worry about it and then you’re safe.”

Health officials say that the most recent vaccine should be trusted alongside the two other vaccines available in the United States. They also stressed that the new single-dose vaccine is another step towards stopping the coronavirus.

Julie Elrick is the director of pharmacy at Winchester Medical Center. She stressed that the developer of the vaccine should not contribute to a person’s willingness to receive any vaccine. She explained that the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine was tested and approved by the FDA just like the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

“This vaccine has been proven to reduce severe illness and reduce hospitalization, and [it was] actually zero,” Elrick explained. “There were no deaths and no hospitalizations during the trial of patients who received this medication, very similar to the other two vaccines that are already available.”

Ralph Dietze was more than ready to get his vaccine after having already battled coronavirus earlier this year. He said that he wouldn’t wish his experience with coronavirus on anybody else.

“I was hospitalized a couple of times. I was really excited to get this [vaccine] because I was concerned about variants and I just didn’t want to get sick again, so I’m really excited about it,” Dietze stated.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccination clinic is one of many clinics that’s being set up through Shenandoah University’s partnership with Valley Health.

Jason Craig is the Director of Urgent Care for the central region of Valley Health. He explained that the partnership with Shenandoah University has played a crucial role in the sheer amount of vaccines that have been administered in the area.

“After today, we’ll have given 35,000 shots through this facility,” Craig said, excitedly. “With that many shots in arms, we’ve been able to impact the lives of so many people to allow them to feel safe with their families, to feel safe in their community, and hopefully, give a little peace of mind.”

The Lord Fairfax Health District is currently in vaccination phase 1B. Eligible Virginia residents can sign up on the Virginia Department of Health website.

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