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Johnson & Johnson 'Pause' Closes Local Vaccine Clinics

New York National Guard, Flickr

The pause in administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines recommended by the federal government is affecting local clinics, including pop-up events intended to get hospitality workers vaccinated before the summer travel season.

Outer Cape Health Services canceled plans to use 1,800 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine for pop-clinics for public-facing workers, and to finish vaccinating the homebound population in its service area.

CEO Patricia Nadle said the pause is warranted.

“I do believe that that's the right thing to do,” she said.

She said she hopes the federal government will issue new guidance later this week, including how clinicians should properly treat the type of rare and dangerous blood clot reported in six women out of the 7 million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In the meantime, Nadle said, her staff have ordered more Moderna vaccine in hopes of rescheduling those clinics, which were set to take place in several communities on the Outer and Lower Cape.

“If we can put a substitution in there — which will mean two doses, unfortunately — but we can move fairly quickly and get things back on track,” she said.

Appointments for frontline workers scheduled to take place at regular locations of Outer Cape Health Services, as opposed to a pop-up site, will go forward. The health centers have enough Moderna vaccine to cover those, Nadle said.

She hopes to reschedule the other clinics as soon as possible.

Other local Johnson & Johnson clinics canceled include two Barnstable County clinics planned for this week. The majority of the county-run clinics use the Pfizer vaccine and are not affected.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.