FEMA site closes after Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

There were a lot of people turned away from the Valencia College West Campus COVID-19 vaccination site as they tried to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday.

Some of them were disappointed while others were relieved after the federal government put the J&J vaccine rollout on pause.

Federal health officials are recommending the pause after six cases of a rare type of blood clotting following vaccination were reported in the United States.

"I can’t get an appointment and the Johnson’s not available, and they don’t know when it’ll be available," snowbird Terry Olofson said.

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The vaccination site at Valencia College West switched over to only administering Johnson & Johnson shots and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine last week.

Olofson heard about the pause on the J&J rollout but was still hoping he’d be able to get the shot here.

"My doctor even suggested to wait three months to see what the vaccine does before we can get it to see what the problems might be," Olofson said. "So, we haven’t even been looking for the vaccine until recently."

Olofson still wants the one-and-done shot.

"I think it’s a small amount of people," Olofson said. "It’s a small fraction of the people that are getting it. So, I think there might be some underlying conditions that they got sick."

Others came to the vaccination site hoping it would still be doing first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

"I know like 10 people that’s already taken Pfizer," Reginald Baldwin, of Apopka, said. "I know one person that’s taken Johnson & Johnson and now I’m going to call them."

Many who came to the site are now concerned about getting the Johnson & Johnson shot.

"Like I said, I was a skeptic already," Baldwin said. "We have to do our research. That’s anything you’re putting in your body, you know."

Those who came to the vaccination site hoping to get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine were also turned away. The state says it doesn’t know if it will be doing first doses at the site now that J&J is on pause.

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