x
Breaking News
More () »

North Carolina vaccine providers starting to give the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again after pause

As expected, some people are now hesitant to get the single dose COVID-19 vaccine.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — After an 11 day pause, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for use again and some providers in the Charlotte area are administering the vaccine doses.

The CDC and FDA determined the vaccine's known benefits outweigh the potential risks and the blood clots found in 15 out of the nearly 7 million people who got the shot are extremely rare.

In North Carolina, the Department of Health and Human Services is recommending providers re-start giving the single-dose shot to people.

In Mecklenburg County, the Health Department will start giving the Johnson & Johnson shots again Tuesday. Health officials said the events on Monday were already designated for use of Pfizer or Moderna, even before the pause. They will continue to offer the single shot at future events.

They have plenty of supply, none went to waste during the 11-day pause.

“The J&J vaccine that we have on hand does not expire until June and is good in the proper storage well past that,” Gibbie Harris, the health director, said.

StarMed Healthcare will also resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson shot on Tuesday at the Sheraton Hotel near the airport. There is no need to schedule an appointment.

Novant Health officials are still going through the report and don't have a timeline on when they'll start giving the J&J vaccine again.

All vaccine providers recognize now, there will likely be some hesitancy around the vaccine that originally was more appealing to some people.

“There will always be a group of people who are concerned about things that need an extra nudge or some extra information to help them feel comfortable and we are all prepared to help them do that,” Dr. Ashley Perrot with Novant Health said.

Have a relative or friend in another state and want to know when they can get vaccinated? Visit NBC News' Plan Your Vaccine site to find out about each state's vaccine rollout plan. 

The pharmacists at You 1st Pharmacy in Gastonia are seeing the impact the pause had firsthand, as they hit the play button again.

“We figured they want to make sure to assure everyone there’s nothing wrong with this vaccine,” Sue Chen, the pharmacist said. "That’s the reason why we said we're going to keep it, we're not going to do anything with it."

The small, independent pharmacy has given about 500 shots so far. Their supply of Johnson & Johnson won't expire until October and they're finding the doses aren't going as quickly as they had been before the pause.

“Apprehension, fear of getting the Johnson & Johnson -- no one should really be afraid of taking the vaccine. If anything, it’s there to protect you,” Iemaan Baagil, the owner of You 1st Pharmacy, said.

As expected, more people are considering their options.

“I had a couple people. I had one who said they wanted Johnson & Johnson. He said yeah I was waiting for it to get un-paused and I had one who wanted Moderna,” Chen said.

Health officials say all three vaccines are safe and effective. It's important to note, they haven't found a direct link between the J&J vaccine and blood clots.

Atrium Health issued the following statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

During a brief pause, the CDC and FDA weighed the risks of resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the risks of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths should they continue to restrict the use of this vaccine. Ultimately, the decision was made that the greater protection to our community is provided by resuming use of the J&J vaccine. 

Following guidance from the CDC, FDA and the NC Department of Health and Human Services, Atrium Health will resume offering the J&J vaccine. Guidance for providers has been updated to include information about additional risk and symptoms to monitor for and how to safely treat and report its rare side effects. We are currently working through plans to determine when and where we will offer the vaccine when it becomes available. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still being offered, with appointments currently available at thisismyshot.com.

Contact Chloe Leshner at cleshner@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.