How the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause is impacting mass vaccinations in Baton Rouge

Local News

WEST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. — The federal pause of administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is already impacting clinics.

The Arbor Family Clinic in West Baton Rouge is cancelling their mass vaccination drive thru event which was supposed to administer the J&J vaccine.

Dr. Michael Ramagos plans to continue the event by providing Pfizer or Moderna shots. However, he says the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine makes mass vaccine events easier for smaller clinics. He worries a mass vaccination event with Pfizer or Moderna will lead to missed second appointment which means wasting doses. 

“In a drive through when you’re not sure who is coming and are they going to show up its a little more difficult to have that infrastructure for that,” Dr. Michael Ramagos said.

Dr. Ramagos does not worry pulling back Johnson and Johnson will slow the state down from herd immunity, but it does impact to the amount of people getting vaccines everyday.

“The efficacy to get people vaccinated and have them fully vaccinated in two weeks as opposed to the others it was a disappointment,” he said. “So now we have to change our plans and go back to the two dose we only use in the clinics.”

The caution against J&J comes after the Federal Drug Administration put a pause on administering the COVID-19 vaccine after receiving six reports of rare blood clots after getting the vaccine.

According to Governor John Bel Edwards, no cases of the rare blood clots have been reported in Louisiana.

“There have been around 85,000 Johnson and Johnson doses administered in Louisiana and no reported cases of this rare blood clot that we are aware of,” Edwards said.

According to LDH, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine makes up 3.7 percent of the states vaccines administered.

Dr. Ramagos says the chances of getting a blood clot after vaccination is rare and to not be afraid of receiving the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

“The Pfizer and Moderna have been proven to be really safe and rare of showing situations of any reactions,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is to soon determine the impact of the J&J vaccine and figure out if the vaccine is still okay to move forward.

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