Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Governor Reynolds says J&J vaccine suspension is 'manageable'
(Radio Iowa) - Governor Kim Reynolds predicts the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations will not be slowed by the two-week suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as possible health complications are carefully studied.
"While the White House reported yesterday on its weekly call with governors the temporary pausing the use of the vaccine should not impact supply going forward," Reynolds says. "Fortunately, additional doses of Pfizer and Moderna will be available for nationwide distribution next week and we've been receiving an ample supply of both here in Iowa."
None of the six women who have had adverse reactions to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were Iowans. Reynolds says the decision to put administration of that vaccine on pause was sudden and surprising.
"While news of a serious reaction to the J and J vaccine is concerning, it's important that we don't jump to conclusions prematurely before more details are known," Reynolds says. "Nearly 7 million doses of J and J vaccine have been administered in the United States and at this time, we're aware of only six cases resulting in the rare blood clots. Currently the odds of this happening are literally one-in-1,000,000."
State health officials redistributing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to adjust and the governor is again calling for Iowans to be patient as details are finalized.
"Even though Johnson & Johnson doses are on hold right now, we were already planning for a minimal supply over the next few weeks due to the slowdown in manufacturing that had been anticipated," Reynolds says. "The immediate impact of this decision on our vaccine supply should be manageable."
The state was only expecting to get 1,800 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine next week.
"Putting even one vaccine on hold is disappointing, especially as we're fast approaching 2 million doses being given and administered in Iowa," Reynolds says, "but ensuring a safe vaccination process, one that everyone can be confident in, will continue to be a top priority."
Reynolds and her husband got the Johnson and Johnson shots on March 3rd on live TV and the governor says she had mild symptoms: a dull headache and fatigue.
"But I was still able to report to work the next day and within 24 hours I was back to feeling 100%, so I'm glad that I did have the opportunity to have the J and J vaccine. I would do it again," Reynolds says. "Vaccination is the best defense against the virus and, as you've heard, the reward far outweighs the risk."
Reynolds is praising Linn County Public Health officials for setting up a 24-hour mass vaccination clinic. State officials say 20 county health departments refused the doses of Pfizer and Moderna they could have received this week, so those doses have been reallocated to other counties.
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