The first shipments of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine came with messages of hope. Workers handling the first batches to go out signed the boxes and wrote notes for the people receiving the doses. Adriana Diaz reports.
- President Biden's promise that 100 million Americans would be vaccinated in his first 100 days in office is close to completion. And this week, the Johnson& Johnson vaccine rollout added to our arsenal. For the people shipping out that new vaccine, it was a very special delivery.
At McKesson, the company distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the first shipments Monday delivered hope and a message. The first one read, "First J&J pack-out! Get healthy."
CAMERON BROWN: It all started with our great director of operations. After that, we all took turns signing our own messages, the names. Mine, I put, "Get vaccinated. Love, Cameron."
- Cameron Brown and the other supervisors at the Kentucky facility signed the very first box. So did Kristi Lawson.
KRISTI LARSON: It was a humbling moment knowing that we now had the vaccine in our hands and we are able to ship it out and be able to send it to so many people.
- Was it emotional at all of that day?
KRISTI LARSON: Absolutely. I think I was crying for half the time.
- With one dose and normal refrigeration, this vaccine can more easily reach community health centers and rural America. That's why for Brown, this isn't a job. It's a mission.
CAMERON BROWN: To me, it's like I'm one of the front-line troops against the war on COVID.
- These troops have been training. Before FDA approval, they ran drills using boxes of soap similar in size to the vaccine packs.
KRISTI LARSON: We practiced with Irish Spring soap to get ready for when we started having orders come.
- So you basically had a dress rehearsal using Irish Spring soap in the place of vaccine.
KRISTI LARSON: Yes. It smelled very good.
- The FDA signed off. And they signed their names, too.
What do you hope the person who unpacked that box felt when reading your message?
CAMERON BROWN: I hope when they saw that message, they knew that we cared, and that we're definitely going to keep striving to make sure that they're well vaccinated, well stocked, and that we're going to kick this COVID in the butt.