Coronavirus Covid-19 background - 3d rendering

Volusia County will resume using the Johnson & Johnson and Janssen-produced COVID-19 vaccine for targeted clinics.

This decision comes after safety reviews by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided the benefits of the single-shot vaccine outweigh the risks.

Use of the vaccine was paused nationwide after several women developed rare blood clots after receiving their shot.

“Above all else, health and safety are at the forefront of our decisions,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “Our vaccine safety systems are working. We identified exceptionally rare events — out of millions of doses of the Janssen COVID-19 administered — and we paused to examine them more carefully. As we always do, we will continue to watch all signals closely as more Americans are vaccinated.”

Volusia County Department of Health Administrator Patricia Boswell said the CDC and FDA will continue to closely monitor reactions to the single-shot vaccine.

“The summary of evidence shows that the single-dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a highly effective and flexible (e.g., stored at refrigerator temperatures) prevention tool,” Boswell said. “The FDA has added a warning to the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine EUA [emergency use authorization] and fact sheets regarding rare clotting events. In resuming the use of the vaccine, this will be offered with updated patient education."

The county Department of Health currently has 454 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a spokesman told The Beacon, which will be used for smaller, targeted clinics.

Local pharmacies have also resumed use of the single-shot vaccine. According to the CDC’s vaccine finder, local Publix and Winn-Dixie pharmacies have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available.

Winn-Dixie spokeswoman Tiffany Hutto told The Beacon that all Winn-Dixie pharmacies are offering walk-up vaccinations as well as appointments, which can be scheduled online, HERE.

According to the Florida Department of Health, as of April 29, 340,435 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Volusia County. In total, 210,710 individuals have received at least one dose of a vaccine in Volusia County.