Metro Detroit county health departments impacted by Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

Macomb County has 9,600 doses of J&J vaccine it won’t be able to use

County health departments impacted by Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

DETROIT – All Metro Detroit county health departments were relying on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to some degree or another.

Here is a look at how the health departments now have to handle the fact that the vaccine is temporarily being put on a pause for further examination.

The impact can be felt in three areas which include congregate care facilities, homebound vaccination efforts and college students.

“The last shipment of Johnson & Johnson was two weeks ago. We got 15,000 doses. What we have left we have to keep in storage, keep it separate and even indicate Johnson & Johnson do not use,” said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel.

That’s 9,600 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Macomb County will not be able to use.

Read: Tracking Metro Detroit vaccination changes amid pause of J&J vaccine

Read more: Michigan temporarily pausing use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Read even more: US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J shots in blow to vaccine drive

The impact is the one shot vaccine was vital for the county to use in congregate care facilities and for homebound vaccinations.

Because of the make-up of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, a vial has to be used immediately after the first dose is drawn.

“They do not support going from one house to another location. The question becomes what do you do take one dose out throw the rest of the vial out? Go to another house and take it, you can’t do that,” said Hackel.

Now the county has to regroup how it will vaccinate people at home or in those facilities.

The timing of losing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for now is devastating. A pop up clinic at Eastern Michigan University was cancelled Tuesday.

Another one at Concordia University was cancelled for Wednesday with college age students the target the county desperately needs to vaccinate.

Then if eventually people are allowed to take the Johnson & Johnson vaccine some people are going to be hesitant.

Both Macomb and Wayne counties tell Local 4 News that they both have enough of the other vaccines on hand and do not have to cancel any appointments so far as a result.

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.