News & Politics

What the J&J Pause Means for Those Already Scheduled to Receive the Vaccine in the DC Area

Some counties in the DMV are able to accommodate residents with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Photo via iStock.

On the advice of federal regulators, government authorities throughout the DMV have stopped, for now, administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine that has been linked to serious blot clot issues in an extremely small number of recipients. Here’s a look at what the development means for those looking to get vaccinated in various parts of the Washington region. 

Washington, DC 

DC’s health department has cancelled all Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments scheduled between April 13 and 17. The 1,200 people who were scheduled to get the vaccine through DC’s portal should be able to book a new appointment today, DC Councilmember Janeese Lewis George reported on Twitter. Anyone with J&J appointments from elsewhere should contact their provider. Meanwhile, DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt told reporters Tuesday that there haven’t been any cases of blood clot issues related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine reported in the city, according to HillRag DC. 

Virginia

Arlington County

In a statement issued Tuesday, Arlington County announced that those who had been scheduled to receive the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Lubber Run Community Center on Tuesday can instead receive the Moderna vaccine.

Loudoun County

In a news bulletin Tuesday, Loudoun County said that about 2,840 people had been scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the county’s clinic this Saturday, April 17. The county is encouraging these people to keep their April 17 appointments, but instead of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they will receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Maryland

Montgomery County

In a press release Tuesday, Montgomery County said that the mass Covid vaccination site in Germantown was the only county-operated site using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with 960 doses on hand. That location will instead administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine to anyone who had an appointment. 

Montgomery County’s health officer Dr. Travis Gayles noted that there haven’t been any reported blood clot issues linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the county. Still, he asked residents to be on the lookout for potential side effects. “Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” Dr. Gayles said in a statement. 

Manassas City

Anyone scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Metz Middle School in Manassas on Tuesday or Wednesday can instead receive the Pfizer vaccine, Prince William County’s health department said on Twitter.

Hagerstown

Those scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Hagerstown mass vaccination site can instead receive the Pfizer vaccine, according to the Maryland Health Department. Mike Ricci, the communications director for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, said the Hagerstown mass vaccination site can still accommodate walk-ins, and the second Pfizer doses will be administered on May 4. 

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Senior Writer

Luke Mullins is a senior writer at Washingtonian magazine focusing on the people and institutions that control the city’s levers of power. He has written about the Koch Brothers’ attempt to take over The Cato Institute, David Gregory’s ouster as moderator of NBC’s Meet the Press, the collapse of Washington’s Metro system, and the conflict that split apart the founders of Politico.