Johnson and Johnson vaccine shortage could impact clinic across the state


NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WTNH)– Vaccine clinics are starting to feel the effect of the loss of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. A manufacturing mix-up caused 15 million doses of that vaccine to be dumped. Thousands of those vials were supposed to come to Connecticut.

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is perfect for the mobile clinics, like the FEMA-sponsored one that is in New Britain Monday. It’s the only single-dose vaccine, so folks do not have to come back for a follow-up.

But now, there are 15 million fewer doses of the J&J shot. That is due to a mix up in the manufacturing process in a plant in Baltimore. They had to throw out all those doses. They are back making more, but it means instead of 20,000 doses a week coming to Connecticut, it might be more like 6,000 doses. Or maybe only 2,000, one-tenth as much.

State officials say those will all be directed towards the mobile clinics, where they are needed the most. The FEMA clinic was at New Britain’s Veterans Stadium Sunday where it continues to be very popular.

“Got vaccinated. I didn’t have to wait long, this was a walk-in appointment. I noticed it was being advertised on Mayor Stewart’s instagram page. I stopped by, didn’t have to wait long. The staff was wonderful, the process was wonderful.. and the vaccine is very short. It’s a quick shot, you do feel a little bit of pain in your arm afterwards.. but I feel fine,” said Khrystyna Stefak.

And she does not have to worry about a second shot. Connecticut continues to get plenty of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so other clinics are not affected.

The hope had been to get the J&J shot into the arms of college students before they left campus next month. Now they are going to have to come up with a new plan, because there is not going to be time to get them their second shot before they go home, which for some could be in another state.

Meanwhile, the FEMA clinic goes on as scheduled Monday. It’s at the Linden Street police substation and it is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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