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First batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines come with uplifting messages – CBS News

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President Joe Biden’s promise, that 100 million Americans would be vaccinated in his first 100 days in office, is close to completion. This week, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout added to the arsenal. 

For the people shipping out that vaccine, it was a very special delivery. 

At McKesson, the company distributing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the first shipments on Monday delivered hope and a message. The first one read, “1st J&J pack out — get healthy.”

Kamryn Brown, a supervisor at the Kentucky facility handling the vaccine shipments, told CBS News, “It all started with our great director of operations. After that, we all took turns signing our own messages and names. Mine was ‘get vaccinated. Love Kamryn.'”

Brown and the other supervisors, including Kristi Larson, signed the very first box.

“It was a humbling moment, knowing that we now had the vaccine in our hands and we were able to ship it out and be able to send it to so many people,” Larson said. “I think I was crying for half the time.”

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With one dose and regular 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.

“To me, it’s like I’m one of the frontline troops against the war on COVID,” she said.

And these troops have been training. Before FDA approval, they ran drills using boxes of soap similar in size to vaccine packs.

“We practiced with Irish Spring soap to get ready for when we started having orders come through,” Larson said. She added, “It smelled very good.”

The FDA signed off, and they signed their names too. 

“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,” Brown said.

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