UVA students will receive Pfizer vaccines instead of Johnson & Johnson

UVA students will receive Pfizer vaccines instead of Johnson & Johnson

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Many students at the University of Virginia were set to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but those plans have changed.

“We were planning on using Johnson & Johnson for some of our student vaccinations. We didn’t have enough Johnson & Johnson vaccine to use it exclusively for the UVA students,” Dr. Costi Sifri, an infectious disease doctor at UVA Health, said.

Johnson & Johnson seemed like just the ticket for college students as a one-and-done method of protection against COVID-19.

“We were saving it truthfully for part of this vaccine effort for UVA student,s and using it selectively for certain situations - some of our outreach programs a couple of them,” Sifri said.

Officials put a pause on the Johnson & Johnson shots after a few cases of rare blood clots emerged. The hospital system is now relying heavily on two shots from Pfizer.

“I’d anticipate that people that are receiving vaccines at Seminole Square - whether it’s UVA students, UVA faculty, and staff or our community members - are going to be receiving primarily Pfizer vaccine,” Sifri said.

Despite the halt on J&J, Sifri does not anticipate vaccinations slowing down anytime soon.

“We are fortunate right now that it looks like we have enough vaccine on hand,” Sifri said. “We anticipated that up to 10 or 12,000 students may need to be vaccinated. We know that the state is very invested in helping us provide vaccinations for students before they leave for the summer.”

Dr. Sifri also says the the vaccine clinic at the Seminole Square location has the capacity to administer more than 2,000 shots a day.

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