Bay Area counties gear up to resume Johnson and Johnson vaccinations 'as early as this weekend'

Luz Pena Image
Saturday, April 24, 2021
Bay Area counties gear up to resume J&J vaccinations
With the lifting of the pause on Johnson and Johnson's vaccine, Bay Area counties are already preparing to resume administering the one-dose shot.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- With the lifting of the pause on Johnson and Johnson's vaccine, Bay Area counties are already preparing to resume administering the one-dose shot.

Contra Costa County has administered 14,000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines and according to Supervisor John Gioia next week they're expecting more.

Luz Pena: "Your County will give people an option to choose?"

John Gioia: "Yes...If there is a Johnson and Johnson available there will always be a backup of either Pfizer or Moderna for them to take"

RELATED: US lifts pause, allowing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations to resume

San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted San Francisco is planning to resume the use of the J&J vaccine as well.

Marin County tells ABC7 News, "Yes, once the state gives us the green light, we will resume use of J&J as early as this weekend with our mobile teams."

A statement from Alameda County and the City of Berkeley said in part: "Will align with other Bay Area counties and will plan to resume the use of our modest, existing supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as quickly as possible. We recognize that rebuilding confidence in the vaccine may require additional time and education."

Napa County informed our ABC7 News team, "We do have 400 doses in inventory. No planned use/clinic yet and we will align ourselves with CDPH state guidance."

RELATED: Santa Clara Co. hits major COVID-19 vaccine milestone, thousands of new appointments available

A statement from San Mateo county said in part:

"We have 1,220 doses of Johnson & Johnson on hand and will begin to integrate the vaccine back into our plans. It has been used for all populations generally and also for targeted populations such as homeless and homebound, where the benefits of needing to administer only one dose are significant. We will follow all safety guidelines from the state and federal governments.

San Mateo County's vaccine distribution for use next week from the State/Blue Shield process is 14,390 doses (8,190 Pfizer and 6,200 Moderna). This number is an increase from previous weeks:
  • For use last week: 11,150 (5,300 Moderna and 5,850 Pfizer)

  • For use this current week: 11,180 (6,500 Moderna and 4,680 Pfizer)

Since our overall vaccine distribution numbers have been so small, with the J&J allotment even smaller (the distribution for use last week at the time of the pause was 500 doses), we won't know how significant a role the J&J vaccine will play in our operations until we see the numbers increase."

RELATED: These Bay Area counties say vaccine supply is now outpacing demand

Dr. Philip Grant was the principal investigator of the Johnson and Johnson trials out of Stanford. He believes these findings show how rare blood clots can occur even without the vaccine.

"It happens one out of 100,000 people per year. It is more often in women than in man. It's in this age group that it happens so the vaccine slightly increases one's annual risk of a very rare condition," said Dr. Grant.

Dr. Hayley Gans is a Stanford infectious disease specialist and sits on the FDA's committee that authorized the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for emergency use.

"Why? Is really going to be the question that we have to continue to look at. There were some maybe comorbidities in a couple of people. There were some people who were taking hormonal therapy which is known to increase your risk for blood clots anyway," said Dr. Gans.

Dr. Gans is concerned the pause will impact vaccine hesitancy among women since about a dozen of the cases were among women ages 30-39 years old.

"Not to diminish their importance is that by proving this vaccine we are saving thousands of lives that would be lost to COVID. We had this very rare complication, but we have sort of in the background the fact that if we leave people unvaccinated people will die," said Dr. Gans.

RELATED: How can I register for a COVID-19 vaccine in California? Here's how it works in every Bay Area county

Aarthi Kalambur a Seattle resident and her friend Tejas Pandilwar who resides in San Francisco have been vaccinated. Neither received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but now have mixed reactions about this vaccine.

"There is still this fear so given a choice I would not prefer it," said Kalambur.

"It's one in a million chance of getting the blood clot which is something I can risk. There is more probability that I get infected with coronavirus," said Pandilwar.

Union City resident, Marcela Diaz and her parents got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine two weeks ago. She said they would get it again.

"Yeah, I would still choose that because I felt fine after the shot," said Diaz.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine will now include a label that warns of rare blood clots.

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