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Utah pharmacies cancel hundreds of appointments after J&J vaccine pause

University Pharmacy in Salt Lake City (KUTV)
University Pharmacy in Salt Lake City (KUTV)
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The state is putting a pause to use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The news came ahead of a day of booked vaccine appointments for some pharmacies.

MORE: No blood clots in Utah patients from J&J COVID vaccine, health department says

Tad Jolley, pharmacist and owner at Jolley’s Pharmacy in West Jordan, said he’s given about 180 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine to his patients.

“And then I got another 100 yesterday. So I have 120 left, but because of the latest news, we had to call and cancel all of our appointments," Jolley said.

So, he spent Tuesday morning calling and breaking the news to patients who thought they’d be vaccinated.

“And one person was even like, 'so does this mean my appointment is canceled?' I’m like 'yes, your appointment is canceled,'” Jolley said.

Over at University Pharmacy in Salt Lake City, the vaccine room sat empty Tuesday afternoon.

“At this point, I have about 60 appointments in the wings that we’re either canceling or rescheduling," said Tony Rhodes, pharmacist at University Pharmacy.

Rhodes said they received their first 200 doses of Johnson & Johnson last week, and had administered some. He says some of their patients set to get the J&J later this week may be able to keep their appointments.

“We have received word that we’ll be receiving a different brand of vaccine. So with any luck, it will be a smooth transition for these patients," he said.

Over at Jolley’s, the pharmacist says the 120 doses he still has will be safe to use should J&J once again get the all-clear from the FDA.

“It’s stable in the refrigerator. You know, it has a long expiration date on it, so it’s fine to use," Jolley said.

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In the meantime, he's ordering more of the two other vaccines available, Pfizer and Moderna.

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