CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Vaccine providers in Charlotte are hanging on to what’s left of their Johnson and Johnson vaccine supply until the CDC gives the greenlight or halts its use all together.
The CDC paused the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on April 13. Eight people who received the single-dose shot reported a rare and severe blood clot. It happened in people under the age of 50, mostly women, about two weeks after receiving the vaccine.
Friday, the CDC and FDA met to vote on whether to resume use of the vaccine.
Natalie Anderson is the clinical pharmacist at Dilworth Wellness and Drug. Anderson says they received about 400 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine starting April 1. She says appointments went quickly.
“They couldn’t find J and J at most locations,” Anderson said. “They would book up, like 100 appointments, in 20 minutes. And they were pretty much all new patients to us.”
She believes there was high interest in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because it requires just one dose. Anderson says they still have 105 doses in storage. Patients who had booked appointments for the J and J vaccine, could either switch to Moderna or wait. Anderson says about 30 people are still holding out for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Novant Health leaders say they too still have patients interested in Johnson and Johnson.
“I think there is still a large group of people who want Johnson and Johnson,” Novant Health Family Physician Dr. Ashely Perrott said. “So, all the organizations as far as I know are planning on restarting it, when and if it’s available.”
For those who are skeptical of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Dr. Perrott says there is plenty of supply of Pfizer and Moderna.
“We are fortunate to have multiple choices of vaccine to help with vaccine hesitancy,” Dr. Perrot said. “So, we are still administering Moderna and Pfizer.”
Supply is now outpacing demand in many states. But Anderson and Dr. Perrott say demand for all types of vaccines are dropping.
“I feel like we are kind of capping out at the people who are wanting it,” Anderson said. “I think there is that plateau of reaching the next 20 to 25 percent of people to get them vaccinated and try to get us back to some sense of normalcy.”
“The more we can encourage our community to consider vaccination is the only way we can get back to some of the things we enjoyed that are restricted right now,” Dr. Perrott said.
SCDHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said Friday she feels confident South Carolina will follow the CDC’s recommendation if Johnson and Johnson is approved for use.
WBTV contacted NCDHHS to find out what the state’s plan will be if Johnson and Johnson is approved for use again, but we have not heard back yet.