Almost two-thirds of the Florida supply of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine remain unused in the state, telling of a seeming lack of interest by residents in the one-dose shot on the heels of an investigation into rare blood clots.
Data recently released by Florida’s Department of Health showed that only about 38 percent of the Janssen vaccine, issued by the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company, has been used despite generating substantial initial interest when it first arrived in Florida.
Although more than 50% of Broward County has been vaccinated, Broward Commissioner Barabara Sharief said the Johnson & Johnson pause “did hurt us” in terms of increasing vaccine hesitancy and unused supply. She said, “We are going to have to reassure people about the safety of vaccines.”
Reports of adverse events following the use of the vaccine had suggested an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.
On April 24, however, regulators recommended reinstating the vaccine’s use after an advisory group concluded the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk. However, a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll showed that 9% of unvaccinated adults said the pause made them less likely to want the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Governing bodies, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.