Easing concern over Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Baltimore health commissioner tried to address doubts
Posted at 4:57 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 18:07:23-05

BALTIMORE — Baltimore has witnessed more than 40,000 cases of COVID during the pandemic, and even though all of the metrics are dropping right now, there’s one number Mayor Brandon Scott does not want people to forget.

“807 lives we’ve lost here in Baltimore are not just numbers,” said Scott. “We have to remember they are family members, friends and neighbors.”

While 2,000 people a day are receiving Johnson & Johnson’s new vaccine right in the city’s backyard at M&T Bank Stadium, there is concern in communities already doubtful over the vaccines, this one may be a hard sell, because its rate of effectiveness falls short of Pfizer and Moderna's vaccines.

“Like the other vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine does not contain live coronavirus, and you will not get infected with COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine,” said City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa. “None of the vaccines approved by the FDA alter your DNA in any way, and none of these vaccines insert any kind of micro tracking chip into your body.”

Dzirasa also points out that Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine, unlike the others, has proven it can help combat variants of the virus---mutations, which are spreading at a much higher rate in other countries raising concerns over the potential for new spikes here.

“Having a vaccine is better than no vaccine. All of the vaccines… again… all of the vaccines have been proven effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”

We’re told of the almost 20,000 elderly residents here in Baltimore who have called the city seeking a vaccine, more than 12,000 of them have actually received it, and city leaders are hoping to improve upon that number as quickly as possible.