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COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics Pivot After State, FDA Pause Use of Johnson & Johnson Shots

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Connecticut is working with providers to try and replace doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines with Pfizer and Moderna instead while the FDA and CDC investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

The single shot dose of Johnson & Johnson has been a key part of some of Connecticut's vaccination efforts, especially in underserved communities.

Many cities were relying on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for mobile or walkup clinics, but now have to shift their efforts.

In New Haven, the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine forced the city to delay yesterday's mobile clinic to today.

City and health officials said the remainder of the clinics scheduled for this week will go on as planned. They were all planning to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the FDA put a pause on it.

Now, city leaders said they will be using the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

The same goes for the upcoming eight mobile clinics scheduled in Hartford, including the one today next to City Hall.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, explains what to monitor if you recently received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The one-shot dose of Johnson & Johnson was appealing to some people and that's why city and state leaders are concerned the pause could lead to more vaccine hesitancy.

“It’s important for people to know we shouldn’t panic we just need more information. We are all being really cautious," said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker.

After the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused on Tuesday over reports of six cases of blood clotting, Jeff Zients, coordinator for the White House coronavirus response, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, NIAID director, spoke to reporters on the impact the pause will have on the coronavirus vaccine initiative.

“I don’t want to miss a beat because some of you say here’s one more reason not to get vaccinated," added Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.

The clinic today in New Haven is on Columbus Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the clinic in Hartford is next to City Hall from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. You will need to be a resident of Hartford or New Haven to get a vaccine.

How to Get an Appointment for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Connecticut

By phone: Call Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for scheduling at select sites.

Online: Schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment in VAMS, the Vaccine Administration Management System.

  1. Fill out the form to let the Department of Public health know you are interested in creating an account in VAMS. If you are currently eligible to receive the vaccine then you should receive an email from VAMS to complete your registration within 12 hours. Click here to create an account.
  2. Check for an email from no-reply@mail.vams.cdc.gov. Click on the link in the email and create your account. You will be prompted to retrieve a code that will be emailed to you. You will need to create a password and store it in a safe place.
    • If you forgot your password, the "forgot password" link on the login page can only be used if you have created a password as part of your VAMS registration.
  3. Complete your VAMS registration.
    • The first question that will be asked in VAMS is “Have you already registered as a vaccine recipient with VAMS?” The answer to this question is “No.”
    • Questions with a red asterisk are mandatory. 
    • Insurance information does not need to be entered.
    • You will be prompted to share some additional information about yourself.
    • In order for VAMS to recognize your option chosen for race, click on your choice in the box on the left and click the right-pointing arrow to move your choice to the box on the right.
  4. Use your zip code to search for clinics near you in VAMS.
    • The system will automatically search for clinics within a 10-mile radius of your zip code, but you may choose up to 100 miles from the dropdown menu, which might provide more clinic locations in your search results.
    • You might need to check multiple clinic locations to find an available appointment. Find a slot that works for you, and book your appointment.
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