TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Almost two weeks after the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was removed from the Tampa Greyhound track vaccination site, the shot is once again available at federal sites in the Tampa Bay area.
FEMA sites across the state, including the Greyhound site, are now offering 3,000 Johnson and Johnson doses a day.
Federal agencies lifted the pause on the vaccine Friday after federal regulators reviewed data on blood clots and assessed the risks associated with the vaccine. The FDA determined the vaccine to be safe and effective, and concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks.
“The risks are very very small for having this clotting disorder. But it is very serious and that’s why the CDC took it very seriously,” said Dr. Michael Teng, an associate professor of medicine at the University of South Florida. “The process really is working. The CDC looked at the data and said that the vaccine was safe. This clotting that they saw is a very rare event, and they could proceed by adding the warning on the label.”
But the vaccine is not in high demand after the pause. Of the 3,000 Johnson and Johnson shots available at the Tampa Greyhound Track site Sunday, the state gave out less than 200, according to a spokesperson.
“Nobody likes uncertainty, and people are not quite certain about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” said Dr. Teng.
Frederick Feltman was happy to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine Monday at the Greyhound site.
“I didn’t want to have to come back twice if I didn’t have to. I got lucky,” Feltman said. “I trust the science. They took it off for a reason because it might be concern and they figured it out. It’s a small percentage and the target demographic isn’t me so I’m not really worried too much about it. It’s like yeah, I’m a guinea pig but so is everybody else getting the shots for all three of them.”