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Georgetown County reverend sees prayer answered with J&J vaccine recommended again

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 10:11 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WMBF) - A CDC advisory committee voted in favor Friday evening to recommend the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine once again.

RELATED COVERAGE | US to resume J&J COVID vaccinations despite rare clot risk

The single-dose shot is a favorite of a Georgetown County reverend and state representative for District 103, as he waited to get it himself.

“When they paused J&J, it really shocked me,” said Rev. Carl Anderson, who represents Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties. “Seven million persons. And one of them was Carl Anderson that took the Johnson & Johnson shot.”

CDC analysts looked over the data during this past week to understand the risks and benefits.

They presented those results Friday, which showed that the number of blood clot cases would pale in comparison to the number of deaths and hospitalizations that would be prevented.

“It’s still good - it is still good, and I am going to stand on that,” Anderson said.

Since the pandemic began, for over a year, the Greater Saint Stephen A.M.E. Church has gathered outside in the parking lot and under the breezeway for Park and Praise on Sunday mornings.

When weather permits, it’s also where they’ve hosted vaccine clinics, getting doses to over 1,000 people in the community - the majority of them being the single-shot vaccine.

Anderson said it’s the one-and-done nature of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, along with its less-temperature-controlled composition that makes it such a critical component in reaching the state’s most remote areas.

Having a vaccine at all has been, Anderson said, a gift from God.

“I even say this to Christian people that say ‘I am trusting God’. Yes, we all need to trust God. But God has placed this here for us, to help us, in our time of need,” he said.

Vaccine hesitancy, Anderson noticed, did seem to happen during the J&J pause.

If there’s particular hesitancy in the African-American community is not really the right question, though.

“We have a lot of people that are in rural areas, are in remote areas - that we need to go to them. And if we go to them, talk with them, and explain to them, I feel like they are willing to take the shot,” he said.

Now that they have the go-ahead from DHEC, Anderson said he’s ready to get started having more events for the community.

“We’re going to be ready to get back out there, and provide,” he said.

For information on vaccine appointments, you can go to our COVID-19 Vaccine section.

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