DALLAS - Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine was approved for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Saturday.
The one-dose vaccine will start rolling out soon in the U.S. to combat severe illness caused by the COVID-19 virus.
People went to New Mount Zion Baptist Church Saturday to register for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Levander Gooseberry is used to going to church there, but Saturday was the first day he’s even been on the property in quite a while because of the pandemic.
"You know, it’s kind of hard not going to church, but we understand what’s going on," Gooseberry said.
Gooseberry caught the virus in November.
He said he still can’t fully smell or taste, and hopes the vaccine saves lives and allows him to get inside his church soon.
"I had COVID. Me and my wife," he said. "Maybe we can get away with being smothered in a mask."
Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is working to flatten the curve and get people the COVID-19 vaccine.
"Hopefully we’ll be making some dents here soon," said Marisa Gonzales, with DCHHS.
Appointments are prioritized for ones living in one of 17 vulnerable zip codes, designated by FEMA.
"Then we can go ahead and make them an appointment for [Sunday] or Monday," Gonzales said.
An illustrative image of medical syringes in front of Johnson and Johnson logo displayed on a screen. On Friday, January 8, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Dallas County will receive 6,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine next week. It’s a one-time shot.
"You know that one-and-done shot is much more convenient, although it doesn’t provide as much protection as Moderna or Pfizer," Gonzales explained.
The county will prioritize incarcerated and homeless populations with those doses, since they’re more difficult to track down for a follow-up second dose.
Lines of vehicles were at Fair Park Saturday for people scheduled to receive their second dose.
The county said it has vaccinated roughly 45,000 people. Plenty more are trying to get their shot.
"It’s been pretty tough," Robert Ridings said.
"But I’m willing to get the shot," Bobby Johnson said.
"So I need to be vaccinated," Gabriel Ogueri said.
Dallas police helped with Saturday’s registration.
"All hands on deck. Everybody’s trying to do their part to help out," DPD Major Terrence Rhodes said.
Dallas County has several registration events this weekend, but people can also register online or on the phone.
Dallas County and non-Dallas County residents can make an appointment through the DCHHS Vaccine Registration Hotline at 1-855-IMMUNE9 (855-466-8639) or visit https://www.dallascounty.org/covid-19/covid-19-vaccination.php. For other COVID-19 inquires, call 972-692-2780. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.