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Local COVID-19 vaccination sites adjust without the Johnson & Johnson shot

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:49 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - COVID-19 vaccination sites all across Florida are changing plans after being asked to put the Johnson & Johnson shot on hold.

The Food and Drug Administration said six women ages 18 to 48 developed rare blood clots about a week after getting it. Although it’s a small percentage, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are looking into a possible link between the shot and these clots.

“I would say that’s so low and that they’re not really going to find a huge correlation with the vaccine and the blood clots. But maybe they’ll start putting a warning or something like that when we do intake to see if there’s been a history of strokes or some underlying factors,” Rx Express Pharmacy Owner and Pharmacist Laura Gould said.

Tuesday, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state will be following the CDC’s guidelines to put the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on pause.

According to the CDC, nearly 7 million people in the United States have received the J&J vaccine, and about 9 million more doses have been shipped out. Roughly 200 of them were given at Rx Express Pharmacy in Panama City, where Gould said none of her patients have gotten clots.

“You know, we all know the signs of blood clots. Redness in the extremities. Pain in the extremities, and that means the arm and the legs. Heat in the vicinity of the arms and legs,” Gould said.

Rx Express is pausing vaccinations until further notice. But some large pop-up clinics are doing what they can to keep getting people vaccinated, even if it isn’t the one-stop shot.

“We know that Moderna and Pfizer are good vaccines so we have that backup plan in place. And so it’s important that we continue to move forward. And people continue to register to get vaccinated,” Resilient American Communities member Tony Bostick said.

Resilience American Communities officials said the vaccine clinic this Sunday on 11th Street in Panama City is still on schedule. But instead of giving out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they’re planning to have either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

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