‘An unfortunate event’: Grand Strand pharmacies halt J&J vaccinations following CDC recommendation

‘An unfortunate event’: Grand Strand pharmacies halt J&J vaccinations following CDC recommendation

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The federal government’s recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is having a huge impact on pharmacies along the Grand Strand.

Conway Pharmacy’s Mike Hanna came into work on Tuesday morning to see something in his inbox he wouldn’t have expected just a day prior.

“There was a couple of emails from the FDA and the CDC recommending pausing the process of giving the immunization using Johnson and Johnson,” he said.

The CDC and FDA recommended the halt on the vaccine due to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in the United States. Hours later, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control also recommended that providers across the state put a hold on giving out the single-dose vaccine.

Pharmacists like Hanna know the race to herd immunity will slow down due to this pause.

“Definitely it will affect the U.S. big time,” he said.

But some pharmacies are more fortunate than others.

Carolina Forest Pharmacy told WMBF News they have doses of the Pfizer vaccine they can continue to give out while their J&J doses sit on the shelves.

Joe Shockley of Ocean Lakes Pharmacy spent time on Tuesday making calls to those who were lined up to get the J&J vaccine.

“We’ve notified all the people who have had appointments today and in the future that right now we’re just having to pause our schedule until we hear more about how to proceed,” Shockley said.

But for now, pharmacists continue their waiting game as they hope to find out what’s next.

“It’s an unfortunate event of course because this is something that we are so passionate about to give the immunization to people to protect everyone, so hopefully they will figure it out by tomorrow sometime,” Hanna said.

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