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Local health leaders adjust plans after the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell said no appointments have been cancelled because of the pause.
Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 9:43 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine will stay on the shelves in Winnebago County after federal agencies put a temporary stop on the shot Tuesday morning.

“Out of safety and both extreme caution both the Illinois Department of Public Health following guidance from the CDC and FDA paused it and we began that right away once we got word first thing yesterday morning,” said Winnebago Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell.

Martel says the Johnson & Johnson shot makes up a small percentage of Winnebago County’s supply, and until she gets the go ahead from officials only Moderna and Pfizer doses will be used.

“We now have one of our products in a pause or on hold and so we are all moving through that process of making sure we have enough allocations of the other two products to be able to meet the demand of the need in our communities,” said Martell.

While this pause may raise concerns among some, area doctors say it should actually be reassuring.

“It should inspire confidence because I think its a clear marker that they have the publics best interest and safety at hand,” said MercyHealth Emergency Physician Dr. Matthew Smetana.

Martell says this temporary halt shouldn’t deter people from getting vaccinated.

“Vaccinations have been identified as safe and effective and we will continue to monitor the situation and take the necessary and appropriate actions should side effects be reported,” said Martell.

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