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ADHS: Arizonans should set up vaccine appointments for Moderna or Pfizer amid J&J administration pause

TUCSON (KVOA) – Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ urged those who were initially set to receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine to set up a new appointment for Moderna or Pfizer during Friday's COVID-19 briefing.

Christ made this recommendation in an effort to help ADHS, community providers and local health departments communicate the recent news about the pause on the J&J vaccine administration in reference to six reported cases of severe blood clots in people who recently received this vaccine.  

The ADHS director believes that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be un-paused “relatively soon.” She said that six people out of the six million that were vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson dealt with severe issues. 

Those who had an appointment for the J&J vaccine should reschedule an appointment to receive a different vaccine as there are many appointments available around the state. Christ also mentioned that many pharmacies are now offering Moderna. 

During the briefing, Christ said there is a potential need for a booster shot.

“There made need to be a booster in order to make sure that you remain immune, we continue to watch that," Christ said. "What we would hope is that by the time people would need a potential booster, that we would have enough vaccine to where it is in the healthcare providers offices, that it’s in all of the pharmacies and it would just become a normal routine thing: just like your annual flu shot."

She also said that they know the vaccine keeps people immune for up to six months.  

Christ and her team are working to communicate with community leaders to get the message out of the importance of the vaccine. Her team realizes that vaccine hesitancy is affecting the goal of herd immunity.

They will continue to connect with leaders of the community to encourage receiving the vaccine.  

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was written by News 4 Tucson's Averie Klonowski.

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