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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Johnson & Johnson Hold Not Expected To Affect Federal Vaccination Goal

Jeffrey Zients was tapped to help fix problems with the Obama administration's heath care website.
J. Scott Applewhite
Jeff Zients, coronavirus response coordinator for the Biden administration, says the J&J vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the more than 190 million shots given so far.

The president's coronavirus response coordinator says there's more than enough of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to continue the pace of 3 million shots per day.

This temporary suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is not expected to have a significant impact on the nationwide vaccination against COVID-19, according to Jeff Zients, coronavirus response coordinator for the Biden administration.

The one-dose inoculations are on hold while federal agencies looking into a half-dozen cases in which women developed blood clots after getting the shot. 

“The J&J vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the more than 190 million recorded shots in arms in the United States to date,” Zients said at a news conference in Wahington on Tuesday.

This week, says Zients, 28 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer will be made available. He adds that there’s more than enough of those to continue the current pace of 3 million shots per day – in turn, meeting President Joe Biden’s goal of 200 million shots in his first 100 days in office.

“We’re now working with our state and federal partners to get anyone scheduled for a J&J vaccine quickly rescheduled for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine,” Zients said. “And we’re actually already seeing this happen today at sites across the country where J&J appointments are being adjusted.”

“People say, ‘what does the pause mean?’ It really allows both the FDA and CDC to further investigate these cases, to try and understand some more details about the history of the individuals who are involved that might shed some light,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor.

Another question being asked is one he says they’re all obviously aware of: What impact will this have on people’s attitudes about vaccines in general?

“So you might know – there have been now 120 million people that have received at least one dose of a vaccine,” said Fauci. “Most of that is from Pfizer and from Moderna. There have been no red flag signals from those.”

According to the Florida Department of Health, only 37,000 Johnson & Johnson doses were scheduled to be delivered this week, compared with about 550,000 of Moderna and Pfizer.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who received the J&J shot, said officials have not heard of any significant effects from J&J in Florida. He also cautioned residents not to overreact due to the investigation of six cases out of millions of test.

“There’s probably obviously some more, but it’s still a very small number. And you also balance that against – how many people are alive today because they had the J&J vaccine?” he said.

Copyright 2021 WJCT News 89.9. To see more, visit WJCT News 89.9.

Dave came to WUWF in September, 2002, after 14 years as News Director at the Alabama Radio Network in Montgomery, Mobile and Birmingham and a total of 27 years in commercial radio. He's also served as Alabama Bureau Chief for United Press International, and a stringer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.