Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives hope to North Carolinians still waiting for a shot

Johnson & Johnson vaccine arriving in N.C. this week

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Health departments and hospitals across North Carolina are preparing to receive doses of the newly authorized Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s an exciting moment for North Carolinians who are anxiously awaiting their turn to roll up their sleeves.

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More than 80,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine are heading to North Carolina.

Health officials say 10,000 doses will go to Mecklenburg County, and 1,200 doses will go to Gaston County.

“We know we still have a backlog of folks we’re still working through that have been waiting to receive the vaccine so to be able to get these doses on top of that is really big for Gaston County,” said Adam Gaub, a spokesperson for Gaston County.

Gaub said Gaston County’s emergency management team plans to take advantage of the fact that it’s just one dose and easier to transport.

“Going to individual apartments or communities and delivering the vaccine to homebound seniors,” Gaub said.

More vaccine also means hope for people like Bob Bratton.

“I have stage four pancreatic cancer,” Bratton told WBTV.

Bratton is 63, meaning although he is high risk and going through chemotherapy, he is not currently eligible for the shot in North Carolina.

“I have two boys 24 and 25,” Bratton said. “I’m scared to death when they walk in the house.”

Bratton said watching the news about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine made him smile.

“It gave me a little more pep in my step that hey I think I’m gonna get this shot sooner than I thought,” he said.

A little optimism goes a long way and he wants others in his position to keep the faith.

“Don’t lose hope because you’re gonna get the shot and one day everything will go back to normal,” Bratton said.

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Some county health departments tell WBTV they are unsure of whether they will get the Johnson and Johnson doses this week.

Most health leaders can agree this is a step in the right direction towards solving the biggest issue right now in North Carolina, which is more demand than supply.

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