JOHNSTON, Iowa – Gov. Kim Reynolds addressed the national pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and how it will affect Iowans seeking to be vaccinated during her weekly coronavirus briefing Wednesday morning.
The pause was announced Tuesday by the FDA and the CDC after six people in the U.S. had a rare side effect and developed blood clots within two weeks of getting the vaccine.
Gov. Reynolds said she was surprised by the announcement and wished more advanced notice had been given to states so plans could have been re-worked ahead of time. She said the bottom line is that federal officials have to make sure the vaccine is safe and that doctors are prepared for any side effects that might result from the vaccine.
Reynolds said the state’s allocation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was actually pretty low in comparison to the Moderna and Pfizer versions.
“We’re working to allocate additional vaccine where it’s needed and ask for Iowans’ patience as we finalize these details. So even though Johnson & Johnson doses are on hold right now, we were already planning for a minimal supply over the next few weeks due to the slowdown in manufacturing that had been anticipated. So the immediate impact of this decision on our vaccine supply should be manageable,” said Reynolds.
This week’s supply for Iowa was only going to be about 5,400 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which takes just one dose to immunize you. That’s 40,000 less than what it was last week.
As of now, the efforts are paused with Johnson & Johnson for the next two weeks.
There’s an emergency meeting at the federal level Wednesday deciding what to do and how to proceed.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations continue.