Cone Health Says Demand For COVID-19 Vaccinations Declined After J&J Pause
North Carolina health care providers are making plans to resume the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. One health care system says it's seen steep declines in appointments since the pause was announced.
DeAnne Brooks, Cone Health’s Chief Pharmacy Officer, says demand for vaccinations has been steadily dropping since the beginning of the month. Things got even worse when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told providers to stop using the Johnson & Johnson shot after six patients experienced rare blood clots after being vaccinated.
Brooks says last week more than half of their appointments went unfilled. But she’s not sure if the decline was related to the pause, or if other factors were at play.
“So part of the thinking was maybe this is people going on spring break or not wanting to get the vaccine at this time, but then it just continued to decline," says Brooks. "I just think we've gotten to the point where most of the people who wanted to get the vaccine early on received it.”
Cone Health has now opened all of its vaccination clinics to walk-ins and launched an education initiative to reduce hesitancy.
Brooks says the health system has a supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on hand and will soon begin offering it again, though the timing has not yet been determined.