Those who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine share feelings on pause

Raven Brown
Created: April 13, 2021 06:00 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Colleges across New York State that had clinics scheduled for this week using Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine have paused their vaccination efforts after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a “pause” in the administration of the single-dose vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

"I'm a little under the weather but that was you know anticipated,” SUNY Geneseo junior Patricia Figueroa said a day after getting her COVID vaccine. 

Figueroa was one of the 400 SUNY Geneseo students vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s shot Monday afternoon but news of the rare blood clot issue a day after her shot has her a little concerned. 

"For only a small percentage to have experienced that I am not too worried but it is a little concerning because you know at my school that was the only option,” Figueroa said

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said this is a small bump in the road and they are now looking at alternatives.

“We got about 21,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the state just for our students,” Malatras said. “Those slots are taken up right away the demand is there, we might have to change how we approach this a little bit, give different alternatives for our students but I still feel like we will be able to get many of the vaccinations before they go home and if not while they're at home for summer break."

Figueroa said she probably would have switched to Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if she knew about the Johnson & Johnson risks.

“It is kind of frustrating knowing that I didn't really have a choice, you know? Like, of course, and the next day it was—maybe I wouldn't have gotten it if I had an extra day,” Figueroa said. 

Despite it all, Figueroa said she's glad she's vaccinated. 

“I still feel really happy about my decision and I don't think anyone should let the J&J pause discourage them from getting the vaccine,” Figueroa said. “We all have options and we all have to do what we can to take that one step forward to going back to normal.”

News10NBC also heard from Nazareth College, University of Rochester and St. John Fisher College. They are also pausing all clinics scheduled this week as they wait for further guidance from the state.

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