RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)— Some Richmond area health districts are planning when they will roll out the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine again at local clinics.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is giving local health districts the option to start distributing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at their events.
Brookie Crawford, VDH Public Information Officer for the Central Region, said the Danville community vaccination clinic began administering the doses Monday. However, the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts (RHHD) won’t give out the Johnston & Johnson vaccine to patients for a few weeks.
Cat Long, Public Information Officer for the RHHD, said they have 2,000 doses of the J&J vaccine stored in a fridge at the Richmond City Health District building.
“We don’t have any clinics scheduled currently to use those vaccines,” she said.
According to Long, they received a shipment of those doses before the Federal Drug Administration recommended a pause for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They investigated several cases of women who had a rare blood-clotting disorder.
After the FDA and Center for Disease Control lifted the pause Friday, some patients are still reluctant to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine shot.
Long said to build trust in the community, especially among women who haven’t received their shots yet, they will continue to be transparent.
“We really trust the safety and efficacy of all three vaccines. Something I think is helpful to remember is that this was extremely rare,” she said.
The Health Districts will label which events are specifically giving out Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Each patient can also choose what kind of vaccine they want when scheduling their appointment.
Julia Wack, a college student who also works in healthcare, said she received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine just before the FDA’s recommended pause. Although she’s confident the vaccine is safe despite some of its effects, she understands why some people are hesitant to receive it.
Wake believes the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks, but it’s ultimately up to the individual to decide.
“My stepdad had COVID and he was in the hospital,” she said. “He wasn’t in a particular risk group. You really just don’t know what’s going to affect you, so there’s a risk in taking the vaccine and there’s a risk in not taking a vaccine.”
Long said their community partners continue to help educate people about the vaccine. They also have more information on their website here.