Mom-and-pop pharmacies, chain drug stores pause J&J vaccine following federal recommendation
The Westchester County Health Department has suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, opting to use the Moderna vaccine instead.
Mom-and-pop pharmacies and chain drug stores like CVS and Walgreens immediately stopped giving out the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday.
The CDC and FDA recommended a pause in administering the J&J vaccine Monday, as authorities investigate rare blood clots reported in six women who received the shot.
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The development has sparked worry among some people who have received that shot.
Sarah Liebowitz says she felt a sense of freedom after getting her Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
She is still looking on the bright side - even after learning the CDC and FDA are investigating.
"I didn't have any anxiety about the potential side effects for me personally because the numbers are so low," she says.
The clots happened six to 13 days after vaccinations.
"I am on day 13, so I have like, I'll say I feel like I've dodged some bullets there, haven't gotten COVID thank god, and I'm out of the window so I feel pretty good about that," she says.
Not everyone shares her optimism.
The phones are ringing at Stratton Pharmacy in Scarsdale where Liebowitz received her J&J vaccine along with 240 others over the last two weeks.
"They're concerned like anybody else would be and I've been advising them of what the CDC has to say," says Michael Airo, pharmacist and owner.
Airo is advising his customers to seek medical attention if they have a severe headache, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and leg cramps.
His mom-and-pop pharmacy didn't receive their shipment of the J&J shot this week because of the nationwide shortage.
"No appointments to be canceled, no rescheduling, so we're just waiting," he says.
Westchester officials say county-run mass vaccination sites will be using the Moderna vaccine going forward.
And as for state-run sites like the Westchester County Center, anyone with an appointment Tuesday will be given the Pfizer vaccine.