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Oakland County awaits Johnson & Johnson vaccine; local man in clinical trial

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Posted at 8:01 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 20:04:15-05

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — On Tuesday or Wednesday, Oakland County expects to receive its first shipment of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The new dose received emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Saturday, joining Pfizer and Moderna.

Part of the confidence leading to the FDA's approval comes through the Henry Ford Health System's clinical trial for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Shawn Boucké is part of that ongoing two-year study.

"So I still currently don't know if I got the placebo or the actual shot," Boucké told 7 Action News.

He says he didn't hesitate signing up for the clinical trial after coming across an ad on Facebook in the fall. Boucké, a private music teacher from Waterford, says the study's compensation and making a difference made the minor symptoms worth it.

"It felt like I was getting sick, but that went away after about a day and a half," he recalled.

Boucké explained, "If I do start having symptoms then that's where they'll start checking more. I'll check my temperature, check my oxygen levels."

The trial's success, so far, led to emergency use authorization by the FDA over the weekend. On Tuesday or Wednesday, Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter says he expects to receive the first shipment from Johnson & Johnson. It will be a total of 6,700 doses.

While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two shots weeks apart, Johnson & Johnson only requires one shot.

"And so that's helpful and it can help you reach certain populations that may be more difficult to get to. One of the groups that we have been concerned about from the beginning is homebound seniors," Coulter said.

As the county sorts out how to administer the pending supply, Boucké says he's glad to have played a part.

"I'll feel like a really small player in it," he said. "So I'm not giving myself credit for saving lives, but it's just nice to be a part of it and being able to help them."

As the vaccine distribution continues, Boucké says the trial wraps up in November 2022.

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