East Texas COVID-19 vaccine clinics change brands

WebXtra: Marion County vaxx clinic

Marion County, Texas (KLTV) - The CDC and the FDA have recommended a pause in the use of J&J COVID-19 vaccine while they investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots. KLTV talks to several local officials to see how that is affecting East Texas vaccination clinics.

In Gregg County, Health Authority Dr. Lewis Browne and Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt held a brief meeting to discuss a recent allocation of 100 doses of J&J vaccine.

“We had it transferred from another county. We were planning to do an immunization clinic for, actually, the homeless,” Browne said.

Browne says it made sense since it’s one shot. But now he says they’ll:

“Hold it until we may or may not be able to use it,” Browne said.

They’ll wait on government recommendations. In Marion County they were in their second day of a three week J&J vaccination clinic at Heritage Baptist Church in Jefferson. County Judge Leward LaFleur says he got an early call from the Texas Department of Emergency Management.

“They simply asked a question: Judge, we are suspending the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine throughout the state. Would you like for us to send Pfizer?” LaFleur said.

He said yes, so the Texas Guard brought in Pfizer, and picked up the J&J.

“I believe they sent it back to the armory in Tyler. Everybody’s just kind of waiting around seeing what the FDA and CDC come up with in the next day or so,” LaFleur said.

No doses of J&J given out there today, but on Monday:

“I believe they administered 30 vaccines yesterday that were Johnson & Johnson,” LaFleur said.

That was before they recommendation to stop usage.

In Angelina County, Diboll Mayor Trey Wilkerson says the Friday vaccine clinic at the junior high is still happening since:

“They’ve transitioned into using the Pfizer vaccine, which will require a second dose. And they’ve already scheduled a follow up date for that second dose,” Wilkerson said.

In Jefferson, Linda Schelling wanted to get the J&J immunization, but didn’t have a problem switching to Pfizer since:

“I believe in vaccines and I figured it was wise to get them and not get COVID,” Schnelling said.

Jarvis Christian College in Wood County is holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic, by appointment, on Wednesday from 9:30 to 5:30. Originally they were giving the J&J vaccine, but are switching to Moderna.

Nearly seven million doses of J&J vaccine have been administered. The CDC says six women have reported getting clots. One person died. Recommendations for the J&J vaccine should come down in the next few days.

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WebXtra: Marion County vaxx clinic