Marion County vaccine clinic closes one week after opening

Low Vaccine Turnout

JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - A vaccination clinic in Marion County has stopped administrating COVID-19 vaccines only a week after it started.

On April 12 Marion County had partnered with the Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas Natural Guard to do a walk up clinic. The clinic would allow anyone to walk up and get a vaccine.

“We were allotted 1500 J&J vaccines,” said Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur. “Starting that first day we were going to do 100 doses per day with the ability to maneuver as needed.”

On that Monday only 30 individuals came out to receive a shot. Before the clinic could open on Tuesday the vaccine situation had completely changed.

“About six o’clock in the morning I received a telephone call from the Texas Department of Emergency Management and they had decided to put a hold on any vaccines with the Johnson & Johnson,” said LaFleur.

A major vaccination option being put on hold because of blood clotting concerns, forcing them to switch to the Pfizer vaccine. According to LaFleur, a lot of the people in the county were wanting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The turnout continued to show that was the demand, with the number of people receiving the shot decreasing every day and ultimately falling to zero on Friday.

At NET Health in Tyler, they are seeing their demand decrease as well despite not ever administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to them, last week was the first time every appointment was not filled and this week the ability to fill first dose appointments have decreased. But in Marion County LaFleur believes the demand fell partially because citizens were no longer given that option of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Because it was a one and done vaccine, they didn’t have to come back or take another day off of work when they have already missed so much work in the last year,” said LaFleur.

Although the clinic is now closed LaFleur says they would consider doing another in the future if the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given the all clear and the demand in the county is still needed.

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