UCSD plans to resume use of one-shot J&J COVID vaccine

Coronavirus

LA JOLLA, Calif. – Crowds of people continue to stream into the clinic at UC San Diego for their first or second COVID-19 vaccine shots. Soon, they also will be able to get the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine there after the FDA and CDC lifted a temporary pause on it last week.

Medical officials on campus say they’ll be resuming the Johnson & Johnson shots and plan on letting people even choose which vaccine they get depending on available supply.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a tweet Saturday that California will begin administering doses of the one-shot vaccine “immediately.” Federal agencies recommended the pause after six cases of a rare blood clotting disorder were reported out of the nearly 8 million doses of the vaccine that were administered.

James Ades, a researcher at UCSD, said he’s been vaccinated and would have been happy to take the one-shot vaccine if it had been available.

“Working in research, I think you just realize how low those odds are,” Ades said.

Shawn Parker, who received a shots on campus Monday, said concerns about blood clots were “a shoulder shrug” to him given how few people have been impacted.

“People should take what is available, absolutely,” Parker said.

Some still remain skeptical of the one-shot vaccine, even as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a statement last week that the clotting cases were “exceptionally rare events – out of millions of doses.”

“For me, I would prefer to go with the Pfizer or Moderna,” one student told a FOX 5 reporter.

The San Diego County Health and Human Service Agency reported Monday it has received more than 2.72 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.

County residents receiving one dose of the vaccine numbered 1,389,473, or 68.9% of county residents eligible to receive the vaccine. Those receiving two doses numbered 935,593, or 46.4% of San Diegans 16 and older.

The goal is to fully vaccinate 75% of San Diego County residents 16 and older, or 2,017,011 people.

On Monday, University of California Health announced it has administered 1 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, including through UC San Diego.

“We’ve been in a race between the spread of the virus and the pace of vaccination since the moment the first shipment of vaccine arrived in mid- December,” said Dr. Carrie Byington, an infectious disease expert and executive vice president of UCH.

“Our goal was and is clear — get shots into the arms of Californians as quickly as possible, beginning with those at the highest risk of exposure and serious illness.”

Following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Department of Public Health, UCH began vaccinating its group 1A employees who work in patient care areas on Dec. 16, including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and those in housekeeping, maintenance, patient transport and other areas.

On Jan. 11, UCH expanded its vaccination delivery work when UC San Diego Health opened a drive-thru vaccination center at Petco Park to begin immunizing health care workers employed by other hospitals and health facilities.

The Petco Park site later began serving other prioritized tiers, ultimately providing more than 200,000 vaccinations.

San Diego County public health officials reported 129 new COVID-19 infections Monday. The data increased the cumulative total of cases to 275,540. No new deaths were reported and the death toll remained 3,692. Monday figures tend to be lower due to weekend reporting lags.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus declined to 161 patients, 11 fewer than Sunday’s report. The number of patients in an intensive care unit remained at 47. There were 57 available ICU beds in the county.

Of the 7,737 tests reported Monday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 1.8%.

One new community outbreak was reported Monday. In the past seven days, 25 community outbreaks were confirmed with 98 cases associated with the new outbreaks.

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