Couple waits for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccine advisers voted on Sunday to recommend the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine for the US. The single-dose shot will start going into arms on Tuesday.

With three vaccine versions, people are wondering if they can have a say as to which shot they receive. In Indiana, it comes down to the appointment destination. The vaccine clinics determine if they have the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Patients can’t choose what vaccine they receive. However, when people go to the Indiana one-shot website to sign up, they can see what shot is offered at each location and then pick where to go.

One Indianapolis couple is looking closely at the vaccine locations to be sure they only get one-shot from Johnson & Johnson.

“Waiting for the Johnson & Johnson one,” said Vivian Murrell. “Because mostly, we just want the one-shot. A lot of people would like to just have the one-shot, one and done. And we are kind of those people,” added Steve Murrell.

The grandparents are in their 60s and are longing for normal life to return. Clearly, the couple was thrilled when Indiana extended the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to their age group last week.

“It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions,” said Vivian.

With the news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would soon be an option, the Murrells decided to wait a few extra days to get their vaccines.

“It’s mostly because of the one-shot. I am not friends with needles, but I will take them if I have to,” said Steve.

Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, Johnson & Johnson only requires one-shot. The two-dose versions are both 95% protective against symptomatic COVID-19. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot is 86% effective against severe COVID-19, but effectiveness drops to 72% when moderate cases are included.

“The Johnson & Johnson was 72% and the others were like 95%. And, I am like ugh. I have been waiting for this for so long and now you know… So it made me a little – you know – nervous,” said Vivian.

The vaccine effectiveness is something both Steven and Vivian are keeping in mind. The couple said if they had been eligible earlier, they would have gone with the two-shot versions. While they were initially hesitant about all the vaccines, what matters to them most is getting protected. They’re focused on safety for themselves and everyone else.

Like many Americans, COVID-19 has hit close to home for the family.

“Being separated from friends and family. And we lost some people to COVID, and you know… the services have been virtual and different, so you can’t hug and love on people like we used to,” said Vivian.

Now that hug is on the horizon and possibly one-shot away.

“One and done,” said Steve. “One and done,” added Vivian.

Johnson & Johnson is currently testing a two-dose version of its vaccine in a separate study and if it is deemed better, people who get receive the one-shot will be offered another.