Eager Maui residents get J&J vaccine after nationwide ‘pause’ is lifted

After 11-day federal pause, Hawaii once again offers J&J COVID vaccines

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds of Maui residents got vaccinated at the War Memorial Gymnasium in Wailuku on Thursday.

It was the first day residents could get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since it was put on pause earlier this month while health experts investigated its potential connection to a rare side effect ― the development of blood clots.

Susan Fricke drove from Lahaina to get her shot and said she’s not nervous at all.

“No. I think it’s going to be just fine,” she said. “I’m not too worried about it.”

Minit Medical’s COVID Director said the side effects of the J&J vaccine are so rare, it should not deter people from getting inoculated.

“It’s one in a million. So, you have more of a likelihood to get struck by lightning,” said Michael Jackowitz. “If you do have a history of a clotting disorder or coagulopathy, yeah, maybe don’t get the J&J, get the other one.”

Hawaii Department of Health officials said the state currently doesn’t have a lot of the J&J shots because of the nationwide pause and manufacturing problems on the mainland, but they expect to get more soon.

“I think that as more people accept it, the confidence will grow,” said DOH Spokesman Brooks Baehr.

Caetlyn Johannes, 18, got vaccinated on Thursday to protect her parents.

“I got vaccinated to keep them safe and myself as well,” Johannes said.

Johnny He, 18, said he preferred the J&J vaccine over the others since it’s just one dose.

“You only have to come here once,” He said.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccine clinics, click here.

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