Henry Countians who want to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can do so starting next week at Henry County Medical Center.
The hospital announced Thursday that COVID-19 vaccinations will be served to individuals 18 and older who have health risk factors — Phase 1C of the state Department of Health’s COVID-19 treatment plan.
According to information from HCMC, the hospital is receiving shipments of 200 vaccine doses per week and are now able to give the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
Anyone interested in receiving either the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Moderna vaccine can call the HCMC Find Line at 731-644-3463 to be put on the list for the hospital to contact for an appointment.
Those who call will need to provide their name, phone number, age and the type of vaccine they wish to receive. In the event no one answers, callers should leave a voicemail message with the required information, and the hospital will contact them to set up an appointment.
People may also register online with the Henry County Health Department at Covid19.tn.org or Walmart to receive the vaccine. The state’s vaccine request line can also be reached at 1-866-442-5301.
Appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be done from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday while those for the Moderna vaccine will be done from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday. The vaccinations will be given in classrooms 2 and 3 at HCMC.
“HCMC is excited to be a community vaccine provider for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Paula Bell, director of pharmacy at HCMC. “The COVID-19 numbers in Henry County are slowing down as more vaccinations are given by the community providers. Our citizens are doing an exceptional job helping us get the pandemic under control by doing their part to get us closer and closer to herd immunity.”
According to the hospital, the main difference between the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines — besides the dosage amount — is the technology used to develop the vaccine.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made using messenger RNA, or mRNA, which delivers instructions to activate the immune system to develop antibodies to provide protection from COVID-19.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses a similar development approach to other vaccines including Influenza, Polio, and Hepatitis A to instruct human cells to make the SARS-2 spike protein, which then triggers an immune response. It is what’s known as a viral vector vaccine. A harmless adenovirus has been engineered to carry the genetic code for the SARS-2 spike protein. Once the adenovirus enters cells, they use that code to make spike proteins.
There also appears to be a difference in the effectiveness of the vaccines. According to the hospital, both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 95% effective, while Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is currently about 72% effective against the original variants in the United States.