BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Kern County Public Health has told all local vaccine providers to pause usage of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
“The recommendation was to hold until they can explore what’s going on and what the future of the vaccine will be,” said Dina Madden, Chief Nursing Officer for Kaiser Permanente.
Health officials emphasized that blood clotting from the vaccine is extremely rare. You are far more likely to get clots from cigarettes or COVID.
“I think we still have so much to learn about what actually has happened and if there’s any other medical conditions that might be contributing to it,” Madden said.
But to be safe, multiple vaccination sites switched up their plans. The site at CSUB already administered 3,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from Saturday to Monday.
“We had a vaccine scheduled for Friday that was going to be Johnson and Johnson, so we immediately panicked,” said Shannon Rieger, an LA resident.
Anyone with appointments at CSUB on Tuesday were given the option to reschedule or receive the Pfizer vaccine.
“Johnson and Johnson was nice because it was one and done,” Lara Heckman, LA resident. “But we’re happy with any vaccine, we’ll take whatever, we just want to have a life again.”
Madden says CSUB expects to receive more doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the next few days. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been put away in storage.
“At this point in time we have it in the refrigerator stored as normal until we hear a little bit more from the CDC about the recommendations,” Madden said.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine can remain stored for at least 30 days. Madden is hopeful that they won’t have to throw away any doses. The CDC and FDA expect the pause to last for a short period of time.
“I would just encourage people that have any symptoms or any questions or concerns to contact their health care provider,” Madden said.
Bakersfield College has also postponed all pop-up clinics that were scheduled to administer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.