Winnebago County health officials speak on Johnson & Johnson vaccine issues

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The county’s COVID-19 vaccination program is expanding. We are now averaging more than 3.3 million shots every day, despite a possible setback.

The FDA and CDC recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine following a series of rare blood clots in at least six female patients.

The White House says there will be no disruption to the supply chain. Shots from Pfizer and Moderna will fill the gap in the meantime. The CDC’s independent vaccine advisory committee met today to start reviewing clinical data.

They will make a recommendation to the FDA and other regulators with a final decision expected in the coming days.

“It should reinforce in those individuals how we take safety so seriously, so as opposed to looking at this as a negative safety issue, it could be looked at as a positive issue,” explained Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Here in the Stateline, Winnebago County Health Department remains unwavered by the pause.
Scheduled vaccination clinics will use up the county’s remaining Moderna and Pfizer supplies.

Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell says if the CDC gives the green light for the J&J dose again, a lot of discussions will go into who can safely get the shot moving forward.

“I think we will have a challenge to reassure appropriately and identify who can receive the vaccine if the pause is lifted. We don’t know that yet until the committee meets, they look at the data, they may want to wait a bit longer to see additional data come in,” said Dr. Martell.

Martell says roughly 22% of the county has been fully vaccinated.

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