While area health providers sidelined vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday, they continued providing the shots using other brands.
Joplin’s health director, Ryan Talken, encouraged residents to continue taking vaccinations. He said no serious reactions have been reported with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which continue to be available.
State health authorities in both Missouri and Kansas ordered the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, heeding a recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommended a pause while it probes further into whether that vaccine is at all related to potentially dangerous blood clots in women, particularly those on birth control.
“Right now the order has been to suspend the use, so it’s in the process of further review,” Talken said Tuesday. “The CDC is going to meet tomorrow, and I would anticipate there would be additional information out after that. Right now it has been placed on hold out of abundant precaution.”
About 183 million doses of Moderna and Pfizer have been given in the U.S. Fewer than 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered.
“I think just off those sheer numbers and knowing there is a system monitoring this type of stuff, that should give people confidence,” Talken said.
The website www.solvhealth.com, which connects people to health resources, reported Tuesday that of 20 locations providing vaccinations in Joplin and Neosho, only two had been offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
One was a Walmart Neighborhood Market in Airport Drive.
“As recommended by CDC and FDA, we immediately paused administration of the J&J vaccine until the federal government completes a thorough review. If someone has an appointment and we have a different vaccine, they will receive the one available. If not, we will cancel their appointment and rebook for a later date once supply allows,” said Courtney Paulson, a corporate media spokesperson for Walmart.
A Walgreens store at 880 Neosho Blvd. in Neosho listed all three vaccine brands as being in use there. Walgreens posted statements on the social media pages of its stores that it has paused the use of Johnson & Johnson brand.
“We are reaching out to patients with scheduled appointments and rescheduling vaccinations from other manufacturers, as supply allows,” Walgreens said.
The Newton County Health Department posted the state order suspending use of the vaccine on its social media page to inform residents that none is to be used in Missouri until further notice.
In Kansas, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas said that it would not be using Johnson & Johnson. Instead, Moderna vaccine would be used for a clinic held Tuesday at Meadowbrook Mall in Pittsburg.
The Joplin Health Department has held or cooperated with other officials to hold several vaccine clinics since late January.
“I have not been told of any adverse reactions beyond what is normally expected: the sore arms, fatigue or light fever for a couple of days afterward, Talken said. “Not all of those adverse reactions are reported to me, but they should be reported on the state health department website by the vaccine administrator. I would not be privy to those reports. But, based on my firsthand knowledge, I am not aware of any more serious adverse reactions.”
People who want to find out about public clinics for vaccinations may go to the city of Joplin’s website at www.joplinmo.org and click on “COVID-19 Info” or call the Joplin Health Department at 417-623-6122.
In Southeast Kansas, go to https://chcsek.org/
In Oklahoma, go to https://vaccinate.