'We're excited': Pharmacies in North Carolina receive J&J vaccine

North Carolina is receiving more than 83,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine across 34 counties this week.

Three pharmacies are among the locations getting the vaccine.

Central Pharmacy in Durham received 200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday.

"We're excited about that because some people have been waiting for the J&J brand specifically and some people have been wanting the one-shot dose and so we're excited to have that," said owner Jennifer Burch.

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Jennifer Burch, owner of Central Pharmacy in Durham, talks about receiving shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with ABC11's Gloria Rodriguez.



Staffers at Eastern Carolina Medical Center Pharmacy in Benson opened their shipment of the J & J vaccine Wednesday. The pharmacy got 600 doses.

"I think what's really beneficial is having only to give one shot and not have to worry about having the patient come back again in three or four weeks like we have to with other shots," said Dr. Ritesh Patel, Pharmacy Director at Eastern Carolina Medical Center Pharmacy.

Data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows the locations getting the most doses are:
  • Wake County Human Services: 5,200 doses
  • Duke University Hospital: 5,000 doses
  • Durham County Department of Public Health: 4,400 doses
  • UNC Friday Center: 3,600 doses


The Durham VA received 400 doses of the J & J vaccine Wednesday. Staffers will be administering them by going to the homes of veterans in rural areas who have challenges getting transportation to get their shots.

Health Park Pharmacy in Raleigh got 1,000 doses of the vaccine.

Both Central Pharmacy and Eastern Carolina Medical Center Pharmacy also administer the Moderna vaccine.

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Dr. Ritesh Patel, pharmacy director at Eastern Carolina Medical Center Pharmacy talks to ABC11's Gloria Rodriguez about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine benefits.



Patel and Burch said there was a lag in getting vaccines from the state to community pharmacies in North Carolina.

"I've been working with my colleagues at a number of organizations, the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association, to beg the state to give us the vaccine, because we've had a number of patients wait for us to get the vaccine because we are their pharmacy, and they don't want to go other places to get the vaccination," Burch said.

Patel said: "I think our primary care offices and our independent pharmacies definitely have the best rapport with our patients so I feel like when patients have hesitation about the vaccine, we're able to clear that up and we're able to do that on a daily basis because they're walking into our stores every day."
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