Groups eyeing J&J pause’s impacts on dose distribution

Boston Statehouse

FILE – This Saturday, March 6, 2021 file photo shows vials of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the pharmacy of National Jewish Hospital for distribution in east Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

BOSTON (SHNS) — With Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration on hold in Massachusetts amid a federal review, groups are watching to see how vaccination equity will be affected.

“While we recognize that the pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will cause an interruption of the goal to vaccinate as quickly as possible, we must continue to prioritize equity in distribution and trust that our federal and state leaders will make necessary adjustments in allocation of available vaccine to ensure that our most vulnerable and most disproportionately affected patients and communities remain a priority,” Massachusetts Medical Society President Dr. David Rosman said in a statement.

The J&J vaccines make up a small fraction of doses delivered so far in Massachusetts — 192,920 people have received that single-dose shot, while more than 2.8 million have had at least one shot of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Atyia Martin of the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, Eva Millona of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and Carlene Pavlos of the Massachusetts Public Health Association called it “essential that the Baker administration ensures that the hardest hit communities in Massachusetts are not shortchanged on their vaccine dose allocation.”

“While we know that mass vaccination sites will not be impacted, we are deeply concerned that the programs that are reaching our BIPOC and immigrant communities will be impacted – particularly community health centers, mobile clinics and homebound programs,” said the trio, who are the co-chairs of the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition.

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