Huntsville pharmacist says phones “ringing off the hook” with return of J&J vaccine

Johnson & Johnson vaccine returns to use

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are once again being given out in the Tennessee Valley. It’s been just more than two weeks since the FDA and CDC paused the shot distribution because of a rare blood clot condition associated with women who had gotten the vaccine.

Haley Jordan, a pharmacist at Chase Pharmacy in Huntsville, said the response they’ve gotten has been mostly positive.

“We’re super excited to be able to give vaccines again,” she said. “I would say, overall, the response has been really encouraging, people are still wanting to come out and get it.”

Jordan said there have been questions and concerns from some people, and they’re doing their best to answer them.

“We’ve had a few people just wanting to ask questions about it,” Jordan said. “We’ve had a few people just saying it’s not for me anymore, but overall people have just been wanting to sign back up for their shot.”

Jordan said the pause should be looked at as a reason to trust the vaccine more, not doubt it.

“I think, if anything, it should make you feel safer about it, they’re definitely doing their research and making sure it’s safe for you,” Jordan said.

When the pause first happened, Jordan said she was surprised.

“We were disappointed, we felt like it was a great vaccine,” she said. “It’s so easy, just one and done, we were not seeing hardly any side effects, so we were very disappointed and we were afraid it might lead to people not being sure about getting it, but we’re glad they’re coming back out.”

She said she’s also surprised the pause lasted as long as it did.

“I honestly thought whenever it was first paused that it would be off pause within a day, because I just couldn’t see how they could keep it paused,” Jordan said. “But they did their research and they made sure people weren’t coming out of the woodwork with this side effect.”

Jordan said if anyone has questions they should reach out to them or call their local pharmacist.

“Just call us, if you have any questions we’d be happy to address them for you,” Jordan said. “The CDC and FDA are doing their best to keep us safe and they paused it, they looked at it and it’s just a few people out of so many millions that had this side effect so the benefit greatly outweighs the risk.”

She said she does have concerns about how the pause could affect trust in the vaccine but said so far she has seen a majority of people excited to get it.

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