They say a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down. The Dragon’s Den Bar in New Orleans takes the expression to a whole new level. The historic two-floor bar and event venue offered a free watermelon lemon drop shot to any patron who participated in the “shot for shot” Covid-19 Vaccine drive.
The New Orleans bar partnered with Crescent Care to bring the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine straight to the people in a true New Orleans style for the event held on April 9. While the DJs provided live music, Qween Amor, a licensed EMT and transgender activist, administered the life-saving single-dose Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Nola.com reported 125 residents received their vaccine thanks to the program.
Crescent Care is a Federally Qualified Health Center servicing the Greater New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana community. The group has a long history of community activism, going back to its founding in 1983. In response to the early HIV pandemic in the city, the NO/AIDS Task Force provided care to the LGBTQ and underserved communities. Over the past three decades, Crescent Care expanded its services to provided comprehensive care to those who need it.
To help fight vaccine inequities, Crescent Care has planned a series of vaccination community outreach events throughout New Orleans. This April 9 event was the first in a series to help get more shots in more arms. Like many US cities, New Orleans is working to overcome vaccine hesitancy and improve vaccine acceptance among people of color.
The Dragon’s Den is not the only private company finding creative ways to promote vaccination to help us reopen safely. Krispy Kreme announced a national public health campaign offering a free Orginal Glazed doughnut to anyone who shows a valid COVID-19 vaccination card. Dollar General, Aldi, and Trader Joe’s encourage employee vaccination by offering up to four hours of paid time to get vaccinated.
Every day more companies announce creative ways to help encourage widespread vaccination to help us reach herd immunity. Herd immunity occurs when enough people in a community are protected, making it hard for a virus to spread from person to person.
Many believe marketplace solutions, not government actions, can help the United States reach the necessary immunity level for us to get our lives back to normal. Private industry can be an essential driving force to incentivize the public to sign up for Covid-19 vaccines. Public events like the Crescent Health Shot for Shot program increase awareness and generate public interest in vaccination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine under emergency use authorization (EUA) on February 27. It only requires a single dose to be effective and is not burdened by the cold storage requirements, which slowed the distribution of the two previously approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. This vaccine can be mass-produced and widely distributed.
Like the messenger RNA Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine does not contain a live virus. One cannot catch Covid-19 from these vaccines.
Forty-four thousand people participated in Johnson and Johnson safety and efficacy clinical trials in the United States, South Africa, and Latin America.
The Johnson and Johnson’s/Janssen vaccine offers 72% protection against infection and 86% against severe disease. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine uses Adenovirus 26 (AD26) as the vector to deliver DNA material into our cells to provoke an immune response. Adenoviruses are the group of viruses causing the common cold. These viruses can be genetically altered to maintain their efficient ability to get into our bodies but remove their ability to make us sick.
Everyone in the US is ready for a return to normal. Widespread vaccination is how we get there. If a Krispy Kreme donut, or in New Orleans, a free watermelon lemon drop shot, serves as motivation, then pass the shots around.