Phoebe stresses vaccine safety

ALBANY – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Phoebe received its first shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the last few days and has not utilized that supply. 

“Phoebe has only administered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. We had planned to begin offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in limited circumstances soon; however, we will wait for further guidance from the CDC and FDA before deciding whether or when to do so,” said Dianna Grant, MD, Phoebe Putney Health System chief medical officer.

The pause was recommended after six cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot were reported among the more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered so far in the United States. The CDC and FDA are investigating to determine whether those cases are connected to the vaccine and recommended the pause as those investigations are conducted. 

“This decision was made out of an abundance of caution and shows the commitment our nation’s health experts have to safety and to the protection of the American people. Even if the investigations determine a relationship between the vaccine and the blood clot cases, those would literally be one-in-a-million events,” Grant said. “The vaccines currently being provided by Phoebe have been proven safe and effective through more than 100-million doses administered nationwide. We strongly recommend anyone who has not been vaccinated do so soon to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Phoebe continues to have ample vaccine inventory and is offering Pfizer vaccines at its mass vaccination sites and Moderna at clinics and through its mobile wellness units. Anyone can request a vaccination appointment through Phoebe by calling 229-312-1919.