SMITHFIELD – On Tuesday, the Johnston County Public Health Department received 1000 doses of Moderna vaccine. Some staff members have already received their first dose of the two-part COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr. Marilyn Pearson, Johnston County’s Public Health Director, said “As your Public Health Director, I know these months have been challenging and heartbreaking for many of our families. But I am excited to have vaccine as an extra tool to fight this virus and look forward to getting back to our families and the activities that we love. I encourage all of our residents to continue to do your part by wearing a mask, waiting apart, and washing your hands frequently until the vaccine is available to you.”
Johnston County Public Health and Emergency Services will administer the vaccine to those who are in Phase 1a as the vaccine arrives. People getting vaccinated should register in an immunization registry system to ensure that they receive the right vaccine both times and are given a card with their vaccine information to present at each vaccination event.
Protection from the vaccine is not immediate. Currently available vaccines require two doses each and it will take 1-2 weeks following the second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. Individuals who are getting immunized will come back for their second round in approximately 28 days.
The Health Department will follow the 5-phase distribution plan recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). To find more information on the 5-phase plan please visit https://files.nc.gov/covid/documents/vaccines/NCDHHS-Vaccines-Flyer.pdf.
Health department officials said that while we are excited to have the vaccine, we must continue to follow measures such as the 3Ws, especially during this holiday season. Vaccinated people should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others such as wearing a face covering, social distancing, and handwashing as well as avoiding crowds and quarantining after an exposure and limiting contact with others to the extent that you are able. Following these steps together will help us get back to more normal times.
Residents and community partners are encouraged to visit the County’s website https://www.johnstonnc.com/covid19/ for regular updates.