DENVER (KDVR) — Though the CDC and the FDA are recommending the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (J&J) be halted in America, states can choose whether to follow the suggestion. Colorado has opted to follow the guidance.
So how will that impact the state’s vaccine rollout?
Gov. Polis said the federal government believes this delay will only last a few days rather than weeks and for the sake of distribution, he hopes they are right about that.
“On a call with the White House today, it was indicated that this delay in Johnson & Johnson would be days not weeks as the likely scenario. We need all three to defeat this virus,” Polis said at a press conference Tuesday.
Polis believes the state’s pausing of Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution will not slow down the state’s vaccination goals.
Laying out plans for what people scheduled for a J&J appointment need to do, “If you had a J&J scheduled, in the next few days, check with your provider. Many of them will be substituting them with Moderna or Pfizer, and you can go in and still get vaccinated on schedule,” Polis said. “Some of them cannot and will have to reschedule you and will have to reschedule elsewhere. Or if you want J&J and not Moderna or Pfizer, you’ll have to reschedule once that becomes available again.”
Centura Health is running several mass vaccination sites around the state. They stopped administering J&J vaccines after 11 people reported adverse reactions to the shots and they said it hasn’t slowed down operations.
“We’ve been very fortunate in partnership with the state we’ve been able to shift our vaccine supply to support all of our mass vaccine sites and clinic settings with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” said Dr. Shauna Gulley, Centura Health Chief Clinical Officer.
Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) shows that only about 4% of vaccinated Coloradans got the J&J shot.
The state’s chief medical officer said Colorado was not represented among the people who reported blood clots following vaccinations.
“We haven’t had any confirmed cases of CVST (Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) in Colorado that I’m aware of. The six cases reported this morning did not include any cases here in Colorado,” said Dr. Eric France.
Dr. France said the state is working with healthcare systems to make sure these cases of clotting are being reported if they happen here.