Fact Check: Low local supply of J&J vaccine?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)—Are supplies of certain COVID shots running low? Viewers have contacted us claiming they can’t get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the Rochester area. It has been popular because it’s just one shot not two doses like Pfizer and Moderna.

News10NBC’s Nikki Rudd found out here in Rochester, it is harder to find.

You may remember back in April, there were some production issues with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at a facility in Baltimore. Millions of doses had to be thrown out because they were contaminated. So that had an impact on how many of the shots are available across the country.

If you want to get your shot at Wegmans you won’t find Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine. Wegmans officials say they haven’t been able to get it over the past few months saying it’s due to limited availability and distribution issues.

A similar story at Rite Aid. A spokesperson told me ordering and shipment of the J&J vaccine has been paused by the CDC short-term. Rite Aid is working with the federal government to get doses into its pharmacies soon.

CVS claims the J&J shot is available at select MinuteClinic locations, but the locations News10NBC called around town didn’t have it.

Here’s a cool tool you can use to find out where you can get a specific shot. You enter your zip code, select which vaccine you want and then you can see the locations that offer it.

Rochester General Hospital is on the list. RRH officials confirm Rochester Regional Health does have the J&J shot. So does the Monroe County Department of Health.

News10NBC found out Trillium Health also just recently received a new shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. It’s available at its pharmacy and pop-up clinics.

If you use that website, keep in mind it might not be completely accurate. News10NBC called around and several of the places listed as having the Johnson and Johnson shot don’t have it anymore. So the best advice: If you want a specific COVID vaccine, like the J&J, you should call ahead to confirm directly with the provider.

[Check out our Fact Check web extra with a list of clinics for Tuesday, Sep.21 here]

Some of you may be wondering what the plan is for J&J booster shots. Here’s the information provided directly from the CDC.

Can people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine get a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine?

No, there isn’t enough data currently to support getting an mRNA vaccine dose (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) if someone has previously gotten a J&J/Janssen vaccine. People who got the J&J/Janssen vaccine will likely need a booster dose of the J&J/Janssen vaccine, and more data are expected in the coming weeks. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J/Janssen booster shots.

Will people who received Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine need a booster shot?

It is likely that people who received a J&J COVID-19 vaccine will need a booster dose. Because the J&J/Janssen vaccine wasn’t given in the United States until 70 days after the first mRNA vaccine doses (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna), the data needed to make this decision aren’t available yet. These data are expected in the coming weeks. With those data in hand, CDC will keep the public informed with a timely plan for J&J/Janssen booster shots.

Don’t forget you can get a $100 gift card when you get your first shot at select clinics through the month of September. Click here for locations and dates of clinics in our region.


Check out other Fact Checks here. If you have an idea for Fact Check, email Nikki Rudd at nrudd@whec.com.