Johnson & Johnson vaccines on hold at Gleason Family YMCA

Apr 13, 2021

Wareham residents looking to get their Johnson & Johnson shots will have to make do with other vaccines for the foreseeable future, as clinics across the country are setting aside doses following reports of blood clots in six patients.

The Southcoast Health clinic at the Gleason Family YMCA — which has administered Johnson & Johnson vaccines — will pause its use of the single-dose shots following new federal and state recommendations.

Southcoast Health announced on April 13 it will not issue any additional doses until receiving clearance from the Department of Public Health.

Earlier in the day, federal agencies recommended pausing Johnson & Johnson shots as they investigate reports of blood clots in some patients.

In a joint statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration said six women of the 6.8 million patients who received doses reported unusual clots up to two weeks after getting their shots.

As a result of the federal recommendation, the state’s DPH and Covid-19 Command Center announced that it would pause the use of Johnson & Johnson shots across Massachusetts. 

The pause comes less than a week before the commonwealth is set to expand vaccination eligibility to all residents 16 and older.

All clinics currently scheduled across Southcoast Health’s clinics in Dartmouth, Wareham, and Fall River will be using Pfizer doses — with one Moderna clinic scheduled in Wareham for April 17.

So far, 11,000 Johnson & Johnson doses were administered across its three sites.

According to a spokesperson, Southcoast Health is reaching out to “upward of 1,500 individuals” who were slated to receive the single-dose shot to reschedule for other doses.

The remaining 7,000 Johnson & Johnson vials will be stored at Charlton Memorial in Fall River. 

Under CDC guidelines, unpunctured vials can be stored between 2°C and 8°C until their expiration date.

Southcoast Health doses won’t expire until June 21, 2021.