Hundreds redirected in Hays County after Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine pause


HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Hundreds were scheduled for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at small local pharmacies in Hays County this week. 

John Anderson, owner of B&J Pharmacy in San Marcos and Wimberley Pharmacy, said around 100 people were scheduled for the shot at his pharmacy on Tuesday.

Anderson and his staff had to act fast after early-morning news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommending the J&J shots be paused while they investigate extremely rare cases of severe blood clotting as a side effect.

Toya Twyman-Blackburn drove over an hour from Manor to get the shot and didn’t get the memo in time.

“For some reason, my cell phone wasn’t working, [they were] trying to text me and call me — and I didn’t get anything,” Twyman-Blackburn said.

She did walk away with a Pfizer shot in her arm though. 

“I’m glad that they stopped me, because then yes, I would have been extremely worried,” Twyman-Blackburn said.

Anderson said they had extra Pfizer shots from Hays County, offering that option to everyone scheduled for J&J on Tuesday.

“There were several this morning that want to wait, who just want the one shot,” Anderson said.

According to Anderson, no doses at his pharmacies were wasted. He said the current supply of J&J should be good for three months while refrigerated.

“Hopefully this is just a short hiatus, until we get practitioners up to speed on how to treat problems associated with a very rare blood clot,” Anderson said.

Other non-J&J vaccine appointments went on as planned at the Hays County Local Health Department. This is a good thing in Twyman-Blackburn’s opinion, who is hoping Tuesday’s news doesn’t make people afraid to get their COVID-19 vaccine. 

“I know that me not being vaccinated offered me more exposure,” Twyman-Blackburn said.

Anderson plans on getting with the Hays County Local Health Department to see if he can get more Pfizer and Moderna doses to make up for J&J shots they can’t use.

He’s hopeful since more vaccine is being made, people will still be able to schedule appointments easily.

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