Johnson & Johnson

Lifting the Pause: San Diego County Set to Resume Giving Johnson & Johnson Vaccines

After a 13-day pause, local doctor says confidence should be high. Some county residents still have concerns, though

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San Diego County is set to resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination following a 13-day pause after a rare blood clotting issue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the OK to resume after investigating several instances of blood clots in people who were given the one-dose vaccine.

The state of California gave it’s OK to resume the vaccines late Saturday night. As of Monday, providers and clinics in San Diego County were set to once again begin distributing the shots starting Tuesday, April 27.

The county public health department, however, said there are still limited amounts of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available right now -- about 12,000 doses -- that will be targeted toward specific groups. The people in those groups, the county said, are often difficult to reach for vaccines that require a second dose, so the one-dose option is reserved for them.

“The county’s J&J vaccines will be used for foot pods, home-bound vaccinations, mobile events, agricultural workers, and closed events like those for disabled individuals who face challenges when leaving their homes,” a county representative said on Monday.

At the Chula Vista vaccination super station on Monday, many people receiving doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines had differing opinions about the resumption of the Johnson & Johnson shots.

“My whole family recommended me not to get it just because of everything that was going on," El Cajon resident Ben Taft said. "I didn’t feel comfortable. Now that it’s coming back out, I don’t really know. I got the Pfizer because I felt comfortable. My family said it was safest out of all of them.”

“I’m very satisfied with Moderna, but my mother is still in need of her vaccine shot, and I’m thinking that I’m going to get her the Johnson & Johnson shot because it’s just a one-shot and then I won’t have to worry about bringing her back and get a second shot,” said Marlo Rhodes of Chula Vista.

“The odds of what happened, unfortunately, to those who received those side-effects are very slim,” said Dan Inocencio of Mira Mesa. "So I still trust the vaccine as long as everyone else higher up is saying it’s safe."

Meanwhile, Dr. Christian Ramers with the Family Health Centers of San Diego expressed confidence in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Several people showed up in Chula Vista to get their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford speaks to people who got their shot.

Ramers recommended addressing any concerns with your doctor and moving forward with the vaccine you feel most comfortable with.

“The benefits are so much greater than the risks at this point," Ramers said. "It should be left wide open and those individual discussions with the doctors to allow the vaccination to continue."

Ramers also put the risks in context, saying there is a higher risk of getting struck by lightning or of the side-effects of taking an aspirin.

“The risk of bleeding -- having a bleed in your stomach from taking an aspirin every day -- is about one in a thousand," Ramers said. "So this is many, many more times less risk than common things that we do every single day."

How to Get Your Coronavirus Vaccine

County public health officials said vaccination sites across San Diego County have appointments available, including at the new Linda Vista Vaccine Site at the University of San Diego, which opens Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

You can search for appointment times and locations via the county’s website here. We also have a guide on where and how to get your COVID-19 vaccine in San Diego County here or below.

Per standard practice, the county said people will be informed during the sign-up process which coronavirus vaccine they will receive. This goes for sign-ups via the MyTurn website, too.

Coronavirus Vaccines: Progress in San Diego County

According to San Diego County public health officials, more than 2.72 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to the region and more than 2.53 million have been logged as administered.

As of April 26, the county said nearly 1.39 million San Diego County residents had gotten at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines, or 51.7% of those who are eligible.

The county’s goal is to fully vaccinate 75% of San Diego County residents age 16 and older. As of April 26, the county said 68.9% of the goal population has gotten at least one dose and 46.4% are fully vaccinated.

Those who got the J&J vaccine in San Diego County are part of the county’s tally of fully vaccinated San Diegans. The county keeps its vaccination dashboard updated here.

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