Why the Johnson & Johnson pause isn't a big deal for Bay Area vaccine appointments

ByAlix Martichoux, Lindsey Feingold, and Matt Boone KGO logo
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Why the J&J pause isn't a big deal for the Bay Area
With the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine distribution on pause, is it about to get harder to find appointments in the San Francisco Bay Area? Local counties say the change shouldn't lead to canceled appointments.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area woke up to startling news Tuesday: no more Johnson & Johnson doses to be found, as California opted to pause its distribution over concerns of an extremely rare blood clot.

Vaccine appointments are already hard to come by in the Bay Area, where demand far exceeds current supply. Plus, as counties expand eligibility to all adults over the age of 16 this week, would the J&J news make COVID-19 vaccine doses an even more elusive commodity in the Bay Area?

So far, it seems like the nine counties are taking the unexpected news in stride and pivoting quickly to Pfizer and Moderna.

The shift is made easier by the fact that California was already expecting a massive drop in J&J supply due to a manufacturing issue, so counties had already been warned that J&J supply could be dropping by as much 90% this week.

Plus, Johnson & Johnson doses have made up a relatively small share of the Bay Area counties' supply compared to Pfizer and Moderna. (See below for a county-by-county breakdown.)

The impact is practically non-existent in San Francisco; the city said only 500 doses of the 10,000 it received this week were Johnson & Johnson. Marin County said J&J doses only made up 3% of the county's allocation. Santa Clara County told ABC7 it anticipates being able to cover all scheduled appointments this week by using Pfizer and Moderna doses, so it doesn't expect any cancellations either.

RELATED: What the suspension of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine means for you

The Oakland Coliseum, which was administering J&J vaccines exclusively between April 1 and April 11, said it's switching to Pfizer. The site says it doesn't expect to cancel any appointments or reduce its vaccination capacity.

The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday. We're expecting to learn more about recommendations going forward after the meeting.

Share of total doses administered that were Johnson & Johnson in every Bay Area county:

  • Alameda: 6.4%
  • Contra Costa: 3.7%
  • Marin: 3%
  • Napa: 2.9%
  • San Francisco: 4.8%
  • San Mateo: 4%
  • Santa Clara: 5.2%
  • Solano: 2.5%
  • Sonoma: 3%

Share of doses administered last week that were Johnson & Johnson in every Bay Area county:

  • Alameda: 23.9%
  • Contra Costa: 15%
  • Marin: 13.8%
  • Napa: 15.5%
  • San Francisco: 15.4%
  • San Mateo: 15.8%
  • Santa Clara: 19.4%
  • Solano: 10.9%
  • Sonoma: 9.3%

Last week's numbers are understandably higher, as California's distribution of Johnson & Johnson doses peaked on Thursday with 78,369.

VACCINE TRACKER: How California is doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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