SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been shelved due to reported side effects.
Counties are now rushing to open up second-dose clinics down the road. The side effects are being called “extremely rare”, but is it enough to put fear in those who are already vaccine-hesitant?READ MORE: Sacramento Family Struggling With Early-Onset Dementia Diagnosis Gives Heartfelt Plea On Big Day Of Giving
Johnson & Johnson shots made up fewer than four percent of this week’s vaccine allocation for California. But what happens beyond this week? The pause comes just days before California is set to open up vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and up.
Pharmacies are scrambling to rework their vaccine programs after learning the vaccine would be pulled.
“I’m happy that I’m here but still nervous, nonetheless,” said Joshua Del Morral who showed up for his second shot at Pucci’s in East Sacramento.
The news is putting those already hesitant, like Del Morral, on edge. Thankfully, he brought along moral support through his daughter Jaelyn.
“I was trying to make him feel comfortable. I’m just like, “don’t worry about it, and forget about the pain,” Jaelyn said.
Pharmacy owner Clint Hopkins said his team only had a few Johnson & Johnson vaccines scheduled Tuesday, and instead, everyone got a different brand.READ MORE: Wine Waste: The New Superfood?
But moving forward, he says the vaccine is a key part of their vaccine strategy.
“The really nice thing about the Janssen, was to use them for patients hard to get a hold of twice,” he said.
The vaccine, also known as Janssen, has been used to innoculate the homebound and homeless and those with transportation issues or living in rural communities.
So, what happens to the rollout process now? At the county level, little to no appointments were canceled, according to health departments who spoke with CBS13. But this pause will force some counties more work on the back end, forcing them to add more second dose clinics.
Hospital systems may see more interruptions. Kaiser says they will only cancel vaccine appointments if no other COVID vaccine is available. They expect this pause will decrease vaccine supply overall and the number of appointments Kaiser can offer.
Sutter Health says because of supply restraints, patients scheduled for Johnson & Johnson will be put on a standby list and rescheduled.MORE NEWS: 'My Heart Rate Definitely Went Up': Sacramento Officers Use Virtual Reality To Train On Real World Encounters
UC Davis says it expects the impact to be minimal.