One and Done: Why People Are Eager for Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine

At Black churches across the Mid-Atlantic region this winter, Darrell J. Gaskin, a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University and a pastor, and Rupali Limaye, a scientist at the university who studies vaccine hesitancy, have counseled and reassured hundreds of pastors and congregation members of African Methodist Episcopal Zion churches in virtual presentations, emphasizing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s safety and prevention of severe Covid-19 and death, including among the Black volunteers in the company’s trial.

Dr. Gaskin said it was crucial for officials to emphasize the benefits of the vaccine at the beginning of its distribution, so people “don’t feel like there’s a luxury vaccine and then the non-luxury vaccine.”

“We’re facing disparities related to Covid,” Dr. Limaye said. “How do we reduce disparities? We get a product out that’s one dose and that’s stable.”

One of Dr. Gaskin’s church’s members, Patricia Cooper, a teacher in Washington, D.C., said that President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to claim credit for a vaccine last year and the label “emergency use authorization” suggested to her that the federal government may have rushed its reviews of vaccines, leaving her jittery about their safety. But she said she was eager to get a vaccine, especially Johnson & Johnson’s.

“This one is more appealing to me,” she said. “Who likes to get stuck more than once?”

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