Health dept. returns 3K doses of J&J vaccine to state due to expiration
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Memphis-Shelby County Joint COVID-19 Task Force says thousands of doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were returned to the state this week due to them expiring before use.
City of Memphis COO Doug McGowen says it was due to a lack of local demand for the vaccine. Now 3,000 doses of J&J are in the hands of Tennessee officials.
“These were doses that were shipped to us on April 5 as a part of a 21,000 dose shipment,” he said.
He says around April 13 the CDC halted the administration of the J&J vaccine following reports of severe blood clots among some recipients.
Once the vaccine was authorized for use again, just ten days later, the hesitancy lingered in the Shelby County community.
McGowen says the health department has offered the J&J vaccine at every community vaccination site, all homebound and homeless vaccination efforts and transferred the vaccine to other municipalities and agencies who requested it.
This includes a shipment of up to 7,500 doses to North Carolina last month and shipments to Fayette and Tipton counties.
“We’ve been in constant dialogue with the state since we received these doses and we saw the low uptake,” said McGowen. “We asked if there was a potential for the expiration date to be extended and there was none forthcoming.”
The health department stresses the county is not wasting vaccine doses and the expired doses of J&J are included in the 1% of the doses that were not administered in Tennessee.
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