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Health Report: Fairbanks vaccination efforts unimpeded despite halt of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 4:13 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been halted, but Fairbanks’ vaccination efforts continue unimpeded.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause April 13 after reports of six women developing a rare blood clotting disorder within one to three weeks of receiving the dose. The use of the vaccine has been put on hold across the country while any possible connection between the adverse effects and the vaccine is investigated.

Clint Brooks, Incident Commander for Unified Command of Interior Alaska said, “Johnson and Johnson has been put on pause. There’s been over 16 million doses issued nationally, 11,000 doses issued to the State of Alaska. There’s been six adverse events that have been recorded, so [this is] just to give caution and take a pause, and see if those events have been related to Johnson and Johnson vaccine - just taking that extra step to ensure that the vaccine is safe before we continue administering it.”

Fairbanks Public Health had planned on administering Johnson & Johnson in their upcoming Point of Dispensing (POD) event at the Carlson Center but has now altered course according to Brooks. “On the 20th, we had a POD here at the Carlson Center scheduled to distribute 1,300 doses of Johnson and Johnson. Of course the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been put on a pause, so now we’re reconsidering holding that POD with Pfizer and offering Pfizer to the community so they can take advantage of getting vaccinated at the Carlson Center.”

Organizations like Fairbanks Public Health and Tanana Chiefs Conference have led the way in providing opportunities for Fairbanks residents to receive vaccines, with Public Health having distributed over 20,000 doses so far.

“Given today’s clinic, we’re looking at about 21,000 doses that have been administered through the Carlson Center to the community. We continue to hold clinics, hoping that people take advantage of the vaccine. We are seeing a downtrend in people making appointments, but we have also opened for walk-in appointments so people can come in at any time, register and get vaccinated - and we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for our community to get vaccinated,” said Brooks.

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