Johnson & Johnson vaccine shortage may impact supply in Florida

A steady stream of people funneled into the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) site in Orlando on Wednesday to receive the coronavirus vaccine and a lot of younger faces are looking for that one-and-done Johnson & Johnson shot.

"I got the Johnson & Johnson. One dose is just easier for me than waiting three weeks for the second one," said Florida resident Damian Pelleran.

Many are breathing a sigh of relief at securing appointments before a reportedly huge shortage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week. 

"That’s why I wanted to get down here today because I was afraid that might not be available. So when I heard it was available, I came down immediately," said Kevin Zakrzewsk, another Florida resident. 

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A mix-up at a plant resulted in 15 million doses being thrown out and that means soon there will be a lot less supply nationwide.

To put things into perspective, Florida received 300,000 doses of J&J this week. They are only set to get 37,000 doses next week; that’s almost 270,000 fewer doses, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

But here at the vaccination site, officials said they received 2,000 extra doses of the J&J on Wednesday. They said, for now, it’s business as usual. They are scheduled to receive their regular shipment of 3,000 doses a day until the end of May.

"Regardless of what the supply is, if you think that you have a chance to come and get the vaccine, for your health and for the health of our community, it is really important to come," said Denise Whitehead, a state PIO at Valencia College Vaccination Clinic in Orlando. 

President Joe Biden has moved up the deadline for all adults to become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by about two weeks. However, right now, it’s unclear if vaccine supply will be able to keep up.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.