City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

NOW: City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Some vaccinators, including the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, are using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again.

This comes after the FDA & CDC said it was okay to lift a pause to examine rare, but serious blood clots.

“The first time we received Johnson & Johnson, it was about a week before the news start talking about blood clots, so we give about 30 doses,” said Khalid Mohany, pharmacy co-owner at Xperience Pharmacy. 

Xperience Pharmacy near 60th and Center started offering Johnson & Johnson again Tuesday, April 27. 

"We've not been getting a lot of interest anymore. Previously, we’d get five, ten calls every day,” said Debbie Isiekwene, pharmacist in charge

So far, they’ve given out two doses.

"One of them asked specifically for Johnson & Johnson, surprisingly," she said. 

The City of Milwaukee Health Department started giving out Johnson & Johnson again Wednesday. It will be used primarily at mobile vaccination clinics and shelters, according to a spokesperson. There will also be the option for Pfizer. 

"We're talking very low risk events and overall a very safe vaccine, and when you take it on balance with getting COVID vs. the COVID vaccine, the comparison isn't even there," said Dr. Ben Weston, director of medical services for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management. 

Dr. Weston says they'll look at Johnson & Johnson numbers at the end of the day at the Milwaukee County Kosciuszko Park and Community Center site. 

"I think it’s important to know that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, despite having this short pause, continues to be extremely safe," he said. 

He says emergency departments know how to treat the blood clots, that are extremely rare.

"We're talking maybe two in a million. Just about every medication in your medicine cabinet has higher risk of serious side effects than that."

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