SOUTHERN COLORADO — The Pikes Peak region is getting another boost in helping slow the spread of COVID-19. That's because vaccine providers are getting ready to administer the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine once again.
This comes after the CDC announced Friday, that use of the one-shot vaccine should be resumed following a short pause due to adverse reactions.
Jeanette Burns, the owner of JB Pharmacy in Pueblo, told News5 that she hopes to place an order of 300 Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Friday, with hopes they'll get to the pharmacy on Monday. She also mentioned a couple weeks ago, she tried to place an order of the vaccine, but she wasn't able to do so. Shortly after, there was the discovery of a rare blood clotting issue, leading to the 10-day pause of administering the shot.
"Now that they have actually released Johnson & Johnson again, we will try and order it on Friday, and hopefully have it in the store by next week," said Burns, who is working to give her patients another choice when it comes to their COVID vaccine.
"We've always been here for Pueblo and we try to give our customers a choice. There are actually people that are still out there wanting the Johnson & Johnson because it's one and done," said Burns. "For those who work, it's a lot easier, which is understandable, because they have to take time off to either come and get the shot or take time off because of the adverse reactions. I think that's the big push for this shot."
Burns says the pharmacy administers about 45 COVID-19 vaccines daily, and about 250 shots weekly. She also mentioned they're not offering the Pfizer vaccine, because it ships 1,000 doses at a time, which is more than the pharmacy needs.
While Burns is working to place an an order, others like Dee Gutierrez are coming in for the first or second shot of Moderna.
"I didn't have any problems. The first one, I didn't have any reaction, so I don't anticipate any problems this time," said Dee Gutierrez, who just received her second shot of Moderna. "I wanted to keep the people around me, and that I work with, my community safe, so that's why I came down."
Statement from the Pueblo City-County Health department: "We are excited about continuing to use the Janssen (J&J) vaccine as a safe and effective, one dose vaccine. We are following the FDA and CDC guidelines and will be giving our community the information about the vaccine and any precautions on its use," said Dr. Christopher Urbina, Medical Officer.
A FEMA spokesperson said they will resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines at their pilot Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) and state-run mobile vaccine clinics, but are still working on what day those vaccines will resume. In the past 90 days, FEMA has helped administer more than 4 million doses at 37 pilot CVC's across the country. The currentl supply of Johnson & Johnson at each pilot CVC and MVU varies, depending on the level of doses one hand when the use of the vaccine was paused.
"At each pilot CVC, FEMA is closely coordinating with federal, state, and local partners to determine the use of authorized vaccines. Since each pilot CVC is different, the use of Johnson & Johnson may resume on different timelines depending on availability and dosage schedule. At each MVU, the vaccine is provided by the state and FEMA supports with the unit infrastructure and personnel," said a spokesperson for FEMA.
A spokesperson from Centura Health said at this time, they're reviewing the decision from the CDC and the state regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In the meantime, they're going to continue offering appointments for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at drive-up events and community vaccine clinics.