Kent County Health Officer William Webb said Monday that shipments of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine have come to a halt and the current J&J inventory will remain in refrigeration pending a decision of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a work group of the CDC.
The group is expected to meet Friday, he said.
“The experts are reviewing the evidence and the data they have on file,” Webb said. “From that meeting they will make a decision.”
Webb said a possible outcome could be to reinstate use of the J&J vaccine, except for women of childbearing age. Last week the CDC announced that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 had experienced clotting — leading to venous sinus thrombosis, a form of a stroke. One woman died.
“The J&J vaccine could be approved for those who are least at risk for clotting,” Webb said. “We can pivot back to the J&J vaccine depending on what the work group tells us; we have plenty of the J&J vaccine on hand.”
As a result of the clotting cases last week, the CDC put the J&J vaccine on hold and the Kent County Health Department followed by canceling 1,500 vaccinations that were scheduled through a FEMA initiative with Kent and Cecil counties to immunize agricultural workers at the Warwick Mushroom Farm located at 249 Worsell Manor Rd, Warwick, MD 21912.
All 1,500 appointments were rescheduled for the Moderna vaccine this week, April 20 – 24 in FEMA Mobile Vaccination Units at the Warwick Mushroom Farm between 9 a.m. and 3:50 p.m.
Webb said it was not necessary to pre-register for the vaccine clinic at the mushroom farm but highly recommended.
“We can accommodate a few walk-ups,” he said.
Appointments for 190 individuals to receive the J&J vaccine at the Kent County Community Center in Worton were also rescheduled using the Moderna vaccine this week, and so far 65 percent of those appointments have been rescheduled, Webb said.