The pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations is being taken under what health officials are calling an ‘abundance of caution’, so they have time to investigate whether there’s a link between the Johnson & Johnson vaccination and some rare side effects.
People scheduled to receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the Mohawk Valley didn’t seem too upset about the pause, but New Hartford Resident Robert Lewis was hoping for just one shot.
"I’ve been waiting a long time for first of all the Johnson & Johnson to be released, but just today the CDC called it back, but they do it to be as cautious as possible I guess," he said.
Oneida County Director of Public Health Daniel Gilmore has heard no talk about a recall of the vaccine just yet.
"I do know that we have all of the Johnson & Johnson that the County has on hand in our refrigerator, and we’re waiting instructions from the New York State Department of Health on what to do with it," said Gilmore.
People at the Parkway Community Center expecting to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccination were offered the Moderna Vaccine instead. Daniel Gilmore says the county does have a limited number of the Pfizer vaccines set aside for individuals to receiver their second dose.
"We actually have done our best to inform those that were coming to this vaccination pod ahead of time that we were switching the vaccine," he said. "Some people declined to come for that reason. Others were happy to be informed and they’re glad we can accommodate them."
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made using a technology that delivers genetic code to cells in your body. Those cells are then instructed to produce proteins that activate the immune system. Johnson & Johnson uses a viral vectored vaccine made from a group of viruses, but most people at the Parkway Community Center just wanted a shot. Herkimer resident, Jane Leon, was one of them.
"I was hoping for the one and done, but I guess that’s out of the question now. It’s not a big deal. You know you come, you give them your I.D. and you get a card to carry, and then you have it," said Leon.
If you’ve already received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks, you should contact your health care provider.