Vaccines all over the nation were recalled.
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Expect the state’s vaccination process to take a little longer in the coming weeks. At a time when more Virginians than ever are eligible for the vaccine, the department of health says it will have fewer vaccine doses due to manufacturing issues at a Johnson & Johnson plant.
Late last month, the drug manufacturer had to recall 15 million doses before release because of poor mixing.
As a result, the nearly 5-million doses expected to be produced for the country dropped to nearly 700,000.
State vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula says the shortage will equate to a nearly 100,000 dose reduction of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply starting next week. This will most affect vaccine appointments over the next several weeks.
“This is about a tenth of what we were hoping for and expecting to receive,” Avula said. “One-hundred thousand fewer doses does limit the total number of appointments and when we all collectively move into phase two by April 18, that doesn’t mean you will be able to get vaccinated within 24 hours.”
Cat Long with the Richmond Henrico Health District says because of the shortage, the district isn’t expecting to receive any Johnson & Johnson doses next week.
“The good news was for us was that we didn’t have anyone scheduled for Johnson & Johnson, so we didn’t have to cancel anybody,” Long said.
By the end of March, the state received 200,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Of that, the RHHD received a total of 15,000 doses. Long says the doses the district received were prioritized for community events for individuals with disabilities, homebound seniors, and on-site events for long-term care facilities.