GOSHEN COUNTY – The first doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were given in Goshen County on Tuesday, March 23. The vaccine was available to 50 people that day, at the National Guard Armory.
Heather Saul of Goshen County Public Health and David Saul, vice president of the Goshen Irrigation District were two of these 50.
Heather had heard of some people’s side effects after they had gotten the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. That, along with the inconvenience of getting two doses, made her jump at the opportunity to get the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Another reason for wanting to be vaccinated was to alleviate some fears other people might have. Though Heather, herself had been a little nervous, she noted how a lot of people are afraid of uncertainty. She said if people see someone they know getting vaccinated, they might be more likely to look into the option for themselves.
After checking in and briefly filling out paperwork, the two were seated at the nurses’ stations. The nurses described the requirements and what to do if they experienced symptoms. For example, they said if soreness occurred, the best remedy would be a cold pack.
Within a couple minutes of each other, both Heather and David had been vaccinated against COVID-19. Not long after, Heather said she had a little soreness in the arm where she was poked. David said he wasn’t noticing any pain after.
Trail Elementary Principal Tyler Floerchinger arrived at the armory soon after. After getting the call that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was available, he decided that would be best for him. “One poke is better than two pokes,” he said with a grin.
According to Johnson & Johnson, clinical trials proved the vaccine to be effective in just one dose.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has made it to Goshen County a little less than a month after being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This vaccine works differently than Pfizer and Moderna. According to Johnson & Johnson, their COVID-19 vaccine is adenovirus. This means it uses an inactivated type of virus that causes the common cold.
This method carries a gene from the coronavirus into a person’s cells, which then produce coronavirus proteins, according to Johnson & Johnson. These proteins are not the virus, but they help prep the immune system to be ready to fight off the infection.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given as a shot in the upper arm, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Expected side effects are pain, redness and swelling in the injected arm. Other side effects have included tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea, according to the CDC.
According to the CDC, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in clinical trials, was about 66% effective in preventing the COVID-19 illness altogether. For those who did get the virus, the vaccine is said to have completely prevented hospitalization and death. The CDC also states that in clinical trials side effects were common, but mild to moderate. They were also more common in the 18 t0 59 age bracket.
Currently, COVID-19 vaccines are available to all residents of Goshen County over the age of 18, according to Wyoming’s department of health.