White House: Supply stable despite J&J pause as demand decreases

D.C. Bureau

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The White House has said the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has not slowed down their efforts to get Americans vaccinated. They say regardless, the supply is there.

New national reported numbers show there could be an issue with demand.

The White House says it’s planning to step up its effort to get millions more people vaccinated.

“We have less of a supply issue,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. “It’s incumbent upon us to meet people where they are.”

At a White House COVID-19 response briefing Friday, lead coordinator Jeff Zients seemingly acknowledged that after weeks of steady vaccination daily numbers, the nation saw a recent dip.

“Going forward we expect daily vaccination rates will moderate and fluctuate,” Zients said. “We are laser focused on educating the public.”

He says the administration is pouring millions of dollars to reach people less eager to get vaccinated, like providing transportation for those who need it and encouraging walk-in availability.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says he hopes new investments work.

“I’m concerned,” Durbin said. “We’re starting to see a slowdown in the number of people who are showing up for vaccines.”

He says people should get the J&J vaccine once it’s available again.

“The fact that they slowed down the distribution of this vaccine says they wanted to carefully evaluate it, that should be an encouraging sign,” Durbin said. “We’re only at the half way point, we dramatically need to increase the number of people who are protected by vaccination.”

A CDC advisory panel will soon decide whether or not the J&J vaccine should return.

On Friday, Health experts on the CDC advisory panel poured over pages of new data evaluating if the J&J vaccine should return.

It’s been 11 days since it was paused, due to a rare blood clot condition found specifically in women.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, when asked about the pending J&J vaccine, said she did not want to get ahead of the announcement but did acknowledge the single dose option is a good option for those who may need a more convenient process.

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