ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Albany County is getting its plan together to put Johnson and Johnson shots into arms again while working to gain trust from residents who are still hesitant about getting vaccinated.
“At this point, we do have stores of J&J and we will be partnering with local interested parties to get that out,” said Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen Monday morning. She says that, now that the pause has been lifted, J&J distribution will continue locally.
“J&J is an attractive vaccine for a lot of people because it is a single dose strategy. But we know that there is a very small risk of development of clots, and in particular thrombosis with thrombocytopenia,” Whalen continued, outlining the reason the vaccine was initially halted. The risk is extremely low, with 15 cases reported, and experts say the benefits far outweigh the risks.
If you still want to avoid getting the single-dose shot, the county has plenty of Pfizer and Moderna shots, too. “These two vaccines do not have any reports of side effects of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia,” Dr. Whalen said.
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy reported Monday that 51.5% of county residents have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine. 37.8% have been fully vaccinated. Locally, more vaccine appointments are available than ever before, with counties even holding some walk-in clinics.
Still, McCoy—honing in on first dose vaccination rates by zip code—expressed concern that some populations remain hesitant. “Unfortunately, many of the ZIP Codes that are the worst in terms of vaccine rates are also the highest percent of non-white residents,” McCoy said, “the areas that COVID-19 has affected the most.”
He continues calling to action community leaders and educators in municipalities where there is a disparity in vaccination rate to boost public trust.
Take a look at Monday’s entire briefing below: