By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – A vaccination clinic planned for this Saturday in Warsaw was quickly cancelled after the federal government called for a pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Officials were prepared to administer as many as 400 doses of the single-shot J&J product at the Kosciusko County Immunization Clinic on Saturday.
The clinic had been publicized on the state’s vaccination appointment website and through a hotline organized by Bowen Center.
But everything changed when the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, called for a pause driven by concerns with six people in the U.S. who took the J&J vaccine and then suffered a rare type of blood clot in the brain soon afterward.
Nearly 7 million people have received the J&J vaccine. The move was being made out of “an abundance of caution,” federal agencies said.
The immediate halt in plans forced local officials to cancel Saturday’s clinic and then try to find other options for those who had signed up.
“There’s been a lot of work in the last 24 hours behind the scenes to scramble and try to connect with those people,” said Dr. William Remington, the Kosciusko County.
“Kurt Carlson and his (Bowen Center) team have done a lot of heavy lifting. Bob Weaver of the health department has done a lot of heavy lifting in talks with the state,” Remington said.
Meanwhile, plans are unchanged for a five-day clinic that is set to begin next week at Center Lake Pavilion – which will not use J&J vaccines.
Remington said they are trying to find new time slots for those who had been scheduled for Saturday.
Time slots are often available within days.
People can sign up for the free vaccine through the state website or are encouraged to check with their pharmacy, not all of which are part of the state’s appointment website, Remington said.
Talk of the clinic came up during a regularly scheduled news conference at Warsaw City Hall. Look for a full story on the meeting later today on InkFreeNews.com.