Community clinics work around temporary absence of Johnson and Johnson vaccine

MADISON, Wis.– The Johnson and Johnson vaccine had typically been set aside for community and mobile clinics because of its convenient “one and done” shot. Now, the nationwide pause on the vaccine is leaving some organizations scrambling for new options.

“We have many doses in our refrigerator being quarantined and waiting for a decision to be made,” Fitchburg Family Pharmacy owner Thad Schumacher said.

Schumacher had set aside 500 of his Johnson and Johnson doses for this weekend. The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County was planning on hosting a community vaccination clinic at its Taft Street Location on Saturday.

“One shot vaccine, which makes it easy. It also allows us to impact a wider group of people, because we can do two clinics and do double the amount of work,” Schumacher said.

Now, the pause has Schumacher checking his inventory for an alternative. He said he has enough Pfizer doses on hand to avoid canceling this clinic, but the two dose series would slow things down.

“We’ll have to schedule two clinic dates that will eventually mean we won’t be doing new patients (the following) weekends,” Schumacher said.

Boys and Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson will ultimately decide whether to cancel.

“We have three choice. We’ll either use an alternative vaccine, or we’ll continue to use J&J, or we’ll cancel the event,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the pause hasn’t changed his goal to vaccinate the community.

“The concern that, you know, people who live in marginalized situations have access to this vaccine,” Johnson said.

If the pause is lifted by Friday, Schumacher’s Johnson and Johnson doses will be lifted from quarantine.

“If they were to deem the vaccine ready to use, we would have it back out in the community the next day,” Schumacher said.

The Boys and Girls Club of Dane County will post its decision on its Facebook page by Friday.