Johnson & Johnson's vaccine pause affects local distribution

Vaccinations continued Tuesday at La Palmera Mall
Free vaccinations at La Palmera
Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 19:20:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With the distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine put on hold, it has affected distribution doses across Corpus Christi.

At La Palmera Mall, a vaccination clinic took place for many who wanted their shots.

“Everybody is trying to get the vaccine,” Nueces County resident Benjamin Martinez said.

Martinez was one of the first people to wait in line to get his vaccine on Tuesday.

“When this one came up that is a walk-in I said I’m going there,” said Martinez.

However, Martinez along with several others will not be getting the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. County health leaders say Pfizer and Moderna will continue to be distributed, saying they’re highly effective and available.

“So both of them are safe and effective," said Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District Clinical Director Dr. Kim Onufrak about Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. "Like I said it is an advisory it’s a caution. On Wednesday ACIP is going to meet and going to discuss with us further, but just based on that out of caution we’re going to stop giving out Johnson & Johnson until further notice."

Corpus Christi Nueces County Health Director Annette Rodriguez said Nueces County recently received a shipment of about 3,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. So far, approximately 2,700 have been distributed locally, with about 300 J&J doses still sitting on the shelves.

“You know, I think it is important that even though we hear this (about) J&J that we still have to remember that we are still in a pandemic and this vaccine is vital to help slow down that pandemic if you will,” Rodriguez said.

“I stayed COVID free, so I’m just coming to get the vaccine today," Martinez said. "Hopefully, I won’t have to worry about getting it."