News23ABC In-Depth


Johnson and Johnson's vaccine paused, hundreds of appointments in Bakersfield canceled

23ABC's Bayan Wang takes a look at the impact
Posted: 6:05 PM, Apr 13, 2021
Updated: 2021-04-14 11:44:51-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is put on pause, as federal officials investigate the adverse reactions reported in other states.

According to our local health officials, there isn't going to be much of an impact regarding vaccine eligibility, however, hundreds of vaccine appointments were canceled Tuesday across Kern County because of the pause.

"Obviously we have asked all of the providers that had the Johnson and Johnson in their array of services that they were offering to temporarily pause the Johnson and Johnson vaccine," said Michelle Corson of Kern County Public Health.

This comes after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed blood clots, killing one of them several days after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The rare adverse reactions prompting the FDA and CDC to recommend a pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after which more than four million doses have been given across the country according to the CDC.

"We are fortunate that we have an abundance of modern and Pfizer to offer to our residents," said Corson.

Michelle Corson with Kern Public Health says as of April 11, more than 363,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Kern County. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine accounting for less than 5% of those.

"We talk to our providers on a regular basis. So to answer the question with Johnson and Johnson specifically, we are not aware of any adverse reactions locally."

While no adverse reactions to Johnson and Johnson have been reported locally, the impact of the recent pause resulted in some headaches in Kern County. 23ABC confirmed with more than 20 local pharmacies including CVS, RiteAid, and Walmart that they've had to cancel all vaccine appointments Tuesday since they only carry the Johnson and Johnson doses. The CVS, RiteAid, and Walmart pharmacy locations that carried other types of vaccines were not included in the tally.

According to Corson, the county's mass vaccination site on the fairgrounds will not be impacted.

"We have only been offering the Pfizer vaccine. So our operations are unchanged as are many local providers."

More than a quarter of the providers listed on the Kern County Public Health's website are not offering vaccination services at this time because they only carry the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The FDA said that their investigation may take a matter of days and at this time it's unclear if those providers will be receiving other types of COVID vaccines.

The governor said in recent weeks that he wants to fully reopen the state by mid-June.

According to the governor, this will not impact that timeline. The governor said that there is an abundance of modern and Pfizer vaccines in the state, and plans to reopen the state in mid-June are still looking good.