J&J vaccine pause won’t cause shortage, but more went to vulnerable places in Tucson area

After federal officials called for a nationwide pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on April 13, a few vaccination efforts were disrupted in Pima County, but it hasn’t caused a widespread vaccine shortage.

“(The pause) does more to perhaps threaten equitable distribution, more so than the bigger picture of getting the absolute numbers we need to be successful,” said Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health.

Health experts are using the pause to investigate a severe type of blood clot in six patients, out of the approximately 7 million people who have received this vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has accounted for a small fraction of all the vaccines administered in Pima County. Only about 4% of vaccinated people have been given it, according to an Arizona Daily Star analysis of Pima County vaccine data through April 12.

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