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State update amid Johnson & Johnson vaccine halt

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Posted at 3:10 PM, Apr 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-16 18:51:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The major vaccination news this week was the pause of Johnson & Johnson doses.

“Arizona has not received a report of this type of incident, like, after Johnson and Johnson,” said Dr. Cara Christ, the Arizona Department of Health Services director.

Along with the recommended pause in J&J vaccine distribution, Arizona has none of those doses coming into the state. But the shipment of Pfizer and Moderna will be increasing and will offset the J&J void.

“What we’re looking at doing, we’re trying to identify providers that received Johnson & Johnson to identify. We certainly don’t want people to cancel vaccination events and we’re trying to replace the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with Pfizer and Moderna,” said Christ.

Christ says there are also plenty of available appointments statewide for Pfizer and Moderna. For J&J, she says health officials will be reconvening Thursday or Friday of next week to make another recommendation on the one-shot vaccine.

“We anticipate it likely being unpaused relatively soon. What they want to do is to be able to review as much data as they can. Obviously, six cases are not that many. And so really to make some good recommendations because they understand that this is an important tool in the battle against COVID-19,” said Christ.

At the pace Arizona is currently at with vaccine distribution, Christ says she predicts county and state vaccinations sties to stay open through June. After that, expect to get your doses at your local pharmacy or doctor’s office.