Local health officials easing concerns after J&J COVID vaccinations resume


ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) — The state of New York is resuming administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at all state-run sites effective immediately, and Monroe County health officials were at a vaccination clinic Saturday at Frontier Field explaining the decision.

U.S. health officials have lifted an 11-day pause on the single-dose shot, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot.

With all the question floating around about the vaccine, many brought those questions to a vaccination clinic at Frontier Field.

“I was very nervous at first, and I talked to a doctor. I talked to Dr. Mendoza,” said Barbara Wyatt, who was vaccinated Saturday. “I felt extra special because I talked to the top-dog and it does make you feel good that they’re here.”

15 woman developed rare blood clot disorders, out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot
and Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza was on site explaining the low risk.  

“The reality is it was a very rare side effect in the first place, now obviously very serious for those who experience it, but this is not unexpected,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Monroe County Public Health Commissioner.

“Be reassured that the vast majority of people who get these vaccines will not have any side effects and also remember for those who get COVID, if you get COVID, you’re much more likely to have the blood clot problem,” said Dr. Mendoza.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, have given the green light to resume the vaccine at all state run vaccination sites saying;

“The data has shown the vaccine’s known benefits far outweigh the potential and extremely rare risks…We encourage all New Yorker’s to get whichever vaccine is available to them, as quickly as possible…”

DR. Howard Zucker,  Commissioner of Health for New York State

The clinic at Frontier Field was distributing the Pfizer vaccine, but Dr. Mendoza is on board to resume the use Johnson and Johnson at county run sites. Those who got vaccinated Saturday hope that the more vaccine available, the quicker we can get back to normal. 

“Do what’s right for you but I’m okay, I think it’s a good idea,” said Kelly Schockow, who was vaccinated Saturday.

Most of the rare blood clots occurred in women in their 30’s and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will now come with warning label to advise of the risk.

Going forward the state will continue to communicate regular updates and guidance from the federal government to providers and the general public about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

More information on Vaccination Clinics and availability can be found here.

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