Horry County pharmacies resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after pause

Updated: Apr. 25, 2021 at 10:38 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - After over a week of uncertainty, COVID-19 vaccine providers were given the green light to resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC and FDA both gave the okay late Friday after an advisory panel ruled the impact of the vaccine outweighed the risk of developing rare blood clots.

Some local Horry County pharmacies were getting back to giving out the doses by Saturday morning.

“I was very happy,” Conway Pharmacy’s Magdy Hanna said. “We used to do an average of 50 shots of the Johnson & Johnson, the demand on Johnson & Johnson was actually huge.”


Hanna said once the pause began, DHEC switched the pharmacy to the Moderna vaccine.

He got stocked up with 400 doses but said not as many people were coming in.

”I think people were getting scared, listening to other people say negative things about the vaccination,” he said.

With the single-dose J&J vaccine back, he hopes demand will now pick back up.

He’s still stocked with a supply of both Johnson & Johnson as well as Moderna, and said he’s willing to give whatever someone comes in and asks for.

Over at Carolina Forest Pharmacy, pharmacist Sam Ibrahim says they’re also stocked up and ready.

“We’ve vaccinated over 1,000 Horry County residents and we have not had a single side effect,” he said.

Part of the lift included the CDC adding new information about the rare risk for clots on fact sheets patients receive when they getting their shot.

The sheet also lets patients know to watch out for symptoms such as chest pain, leg swelling, headaches or blurred vision and easy bruising up to 30 days after receiving the shot.

“We want to empower the patient to make the right choice for them, they have the information they need, from there they can make the right decision for their healthcare,” he added.

According to DHEC data, most South Carolinians who have been vaccinated have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Just over 89,000 South Carolina residents have received the J&J vaccine, which accounts for around 7.5% of total vaccinations in the state.

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