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Health department schedules J&J vaccine clinic; demand for vaccinations continues to drop

The Beaufort County Health Department will hold a drive-thru Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic from 4-8 p.m. at Beaufort County Community College on Tuesday, May 11. Doses will be administered on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

The U.S. resumed its usage of the J&J vaccine late last week after an 11-day pause following several reports of vaccinated people developing a rare but serious type of blood clot.

Fifteen people developed the blood clot. Three of them died. All of the cases were women. Most of them were under age 50. As of last week, approximately 8 million people had received the single-dose J&J vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Admininstration analyzed those cases during the pause.

“It showed that the chances (of developing blood clots) is around one in a million,” Beaufort County Health Director Jim Madson said. “Which is lower than most risks for vaccines.”

The health department primarily administers the Moderna vaccine. Madson said the department has noticed a significant drop-off in vaccine appointments. As of Friday afternoon, almost 50% of Beaufort County’s adult population had been at least partially vaccinated.

“We really want to get more people vaccinated, so we can get to the state’s desire to get to 66.7% of adults vaccinated,” Madson said. “… The thing to keep in mind is you get the shot so we can get community herd immunity, and we lower the risk of spreading it to other people.”

The health department has plenty of vaccination appointments available for anyone ages 18 and older. To schedule an appointment, call 252-940-6150 or register online at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=21631584.

“I still believe the vaccine is safe, and the side effects are small,” Madson said.

The state is slowly lifting more COVID-19 restrictions. In the past week, Cooper announced that masks are longer be required outdoors, and the limit on mass gatherings has been increased to 100 indoors and 200 outdoors.

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