Advocates: COVID-19 vaccine still beneficial to get out of pandemic

Advocates: COVID-19 vaccine still beneficial to get out of pandemic

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As soon as U.S. officials announced temporarily halting injections of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there was a sudden firestorm on social media - some mocking the company, others touting that they chose Pfizer or Moderna instead.

“Our goal is still to have all Virginians have at least their first dose by the end of May,” Gov. Ralph Northam said.

Even the Governor and First Lady took the Johnson & Johnson shot in mid-march.

He reminded Virginians that there are only six cases being investigated of the more than 6.8 million doses that have been given - the huge majority with no or mild side effects.

“We’ll be awaiting the guidance from the FDA and CDC regarding J&J. Hopefully this is just a small setback that we will overcome,” Northam said.

What community advocates don’t want is for the probe into Johnson and Johnson to prevent others from getting a shot.

“This is our shot for us to be able to move forward and come out of this pandemic,” Gaylene Kanoyton said.

This means so much to her because she lost her mother to COVID-19 last June. Now, she’s fighting to get people vaccinated.

“To ensure others will not get to where she is right now, and die from it. Whatever I can take to educate people,” Kanoyton said.

She’s working with groups in Virginia who are now hitting the streets telling people to get a shot, especially since there are two other options still available.

“Hire people to go knock on doors, do outreach on the importance of getting the vaccine...millions of people have taken both these vaccines,” Kanoyton said.

In just five days, Northam says anyone who wants a shot will be able to get one.

The pay for those door-to-door outreach jobs is $20 an hour up to 25 hours a week. For more information, click here.

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