Pause on J&J vaccine not expected to hamper Chickahominy Health District vaccine rollout

Coronavirus

HANOVER COUNTY, Va (WRIC) – Virginia has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports of blood clots — but what does this mean for local or rural health districts like Chickahominy, who moved into Phase 2 of vaccinations on Friday?

“It’s disappointing, but just like, you know, everything related to COVID, we have to adapt,” said Hanover Deputy County Administrator Jim Taylor.

He said over 500 people were scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine at the Ashland Junction Clinic Tuesday afternoon. They instead received the Moderna vaccine.

The Chickahominy Health District has had the goal to vaccinate at least 75% of people by the end of May, which would help them reach herd immunity. Thousands have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Hanover County Vaccination Center in Ashland.

They’re adapting across the Chickahominy Health District, offering Moderna vaccines at three separate clinics that were scheduled to be Johnson and Johnson including:

  • Chickahominy Health District event at Ashland Junction clinic on Tuesday, April 13
  • New Kent County vaccination clinic at New Kent High School on Friday, April 16
  • A special vaccination event for college students at Randolph-Macon College on Saturday, April 17

“We have plenty of Moderna on hand,” Chickahominy Health District director Dr. Thomas Franck told 8News Tuesday.

Dr. Franck said the district received 5,500 doses of Moderna this week alone.

“We always have a couple thousand doses to use just for contingency plans just like this,” he said.

Taylor said their original allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 5,000, then it dropped to 1,500. He said the small supply dwindled quickly anyway.

“We had very limited supply to begin with,” he said.

The district will continue allowing walk-ins for seniors, and Dr. Franck points out the pause won’t affect their status in Phase 2.

“We’re in good shape,” he said.

For now, Dr. Franck and Taylor still ask the public to get vaccinated.

“I would still encourage people to get whatever vaccine is available,” Taylor told 8News.

Despite the pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccines, the Chickahominy Health District is planning to have their first evening clinic at the vaccination center in Ashland for those who may work during the day coming up soon.

If you are scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Dr. Franck said you will receive a call or email letting you know that you will receive the Moderna vaccine instead.

He said the blood clot condition affecting six women is rare. If you got the J&J vaccine and have symptoms including headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within one to three weeks after getting the shot to call your healthcare provider.

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