Turnout Low At FEMA Sites With J&J COVID Shots Available Again
Florida's FEMA hubs resumed giving the one-shot vaccine after a federal pause was lifted. The Orlando site said about 90% of the daily supply went unused. A similar story played out in Miami and Tampa.
The Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine was again available Sunday at Florida’s federally supported inoculation sites, but the rollout was met with low demand.
Turnout was so low following an 11-day pause of the single-shot vaccine at the Orlando FEMA site that about 90% of the daily supply went unused. Health officials say they administered 268 doses of the 3,000 available doses at Valencia College’s West Campus.
A similar story played out Sunday at the FEMA sites in Miami and Tampa.
At the Miami-Dade College North Campus, 127 Johnson & Johnson doses were administered as of Sunday afternoon. At Tampa Greyhound Track, 160 of the 3,000 available doses were administered, a state spokeswoman said.
No state, county or FEMA mobile sites are currently giving the J&J vaccine.
The federally-supported mass vaccinations sites in Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville will continue offering fist doses of the Pfizer vaccine through the end of this week, said Samantha Bequer, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Emergency Management. After that, those who are unvaccinated will get the one-dose J&J vaccine while the sites will continue offering Pfizer to those who need a second dose, Bequer said.
During the J&J pause, the federal government uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed an unusual of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the shot. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.
On Friday, a CDC advisory panel decided the vaccine’s benefits outweighed a rare risk. Officials decided to provide warnings to help younger women decide if they should use that shot or an alternative.
Site staff have received additional training, based off guidance issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration, state officials said.
Officials said the COVID-19 consent and screening form has new language to comply with the updated guidance. The FEMA sites will have the updated forms.
Health News Florida Editor Julio Ochoa contributed to this story.