The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine two days before the on-campus vaccine clinic for the single-dose jab was scheduled on April 14.
However, a new walk-up vaccination clinic open to all members of the local community for the two-shot Moderna vaccine was promptly rescheduled for Monday, April 19. 117 shots were distributed at Harry Sudakoff Conference Center and a follow-up clinic for the second dose is scheduled for Friday, May 14.
The Moderna vaccine requires two separate doses to be as effective as possible. Health Education Coordinator Susan Stahley stated that another J&J vaccine clinic may happen in the future, but it currently is unclear.
“We are looking at a tentative date in a few weeks for the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine; however, it is unclear when or if it will be Ok’d by the CDC to use by then,” Stahley said.
The FDA and CDC decided to pause the J&J vaccine due to the development of severe blood clots in six women. This outcome is exceptionally rare: nearly 7 million Americans have already received the shot, with only mild to moderate side effects Following the announcement, most states and national pharmacies promptly announced pausing the distribution of the vaccine. The clinic organizers worked to replan the clinic and announced the replacement date on April 15.
Students unable to attend the on-campus clinic can seek out vaccines at many large grocery stores and through the Sarasota County Department of Health (DOH) To receive a vaccine in Sarasota County, registration through their website is required.
The Counseling and Wellness Center (CWC) had partnered with Hedges Pharmacy to procure and administer the original J&J vaccine, which negated the need to acquire funding for the clinic. After the postponement of the J&J vaccine clinic, the CWC partnered with the Sarasota DOH to acquire funding for the Moderna vaccines, but remains partnered with Hedges Pharmacy. Stahley has assured that this clinic would be free for all participants.
“There are administrative costs that Hedges Pharmacy could bill an insurance company for that cover this cost, but there would not be a copay for anyone getting the vaccine,” Stahley said, reiterating the CDC rules that everyone in the US can get vaccinated without cost, regardless of insurance status or immigration status. “No one would be turned away. All folks from the NCF community are eligible to obtain the free vaccine.”
As more community members get vaccinated, it is crucial to know the post-vaccination guidelines. New College still requires everyone on campus to wear a mask and maintain social distancing under most circumstances regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC also advises vaccinated people to retain cards even after becoming fully vaccinated, but cautioned against laminating it Booster shots may be required in the future and added to the card.
Stahley emphasized that recipients of the vaccine should remain cautious.
“While a fully vaccinated person has less risk of getting COVID-19, it isn’t foolproof,” Stahley said. “The vaccines will lessen the chance of a serious COVID-19 infection. People should not become complacent. Wearing a mask, maintaining social distances, and washing your hands are still key in reducing infection transmissions.”
The CDC has issued a set of guidelines on how to conduct oneself after receiving the vaccine while keeping themselves and others safe from COVID-19.
Note: the first edition of this story incorrectly stated that 500 doses were distributed. In fact, only 117 were distributed.