INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Department of Health is proactively notifying all vaccination clinics using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to pause its use, including the clinic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
It comes after the CDC and FDA recommended a temporary pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The state says it has not received official notification of a directive to pause but is doing so out of an abundance of caution.
The health department will be sending the two-dose Moderna vaccine to IMS, so that Hoosiers can continue to get vaccinated without interruption. The clinic will continue through Sunday.
The department is encouraging vaccination sites statewide to use existing doses of Pfizer or Moderna if available to fulfill previously scheduled Johnson & Johnson appointments.
Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver spoke about the decision from IMS in a live announcement.
“We found out this morning [about the recommendation to pause the J&J vaccine] through a joint announcement through the FDA and CDC,” said Dr. Weaver.
“We have notified all of our vaccine providers that we are going to pausing until further notice.”
Weaver said text messages were sent out beginning around 8:45 a.m. to people who had a vaccine appointment at IMS to alert them they would receive the Moderna instead of the J&J vaccine.
According to Dr. Weaver, about 95% of people who showed up at IMS for their vaccine on Tuesday morning are going ahead with the vaccination after being informed of the switch from Johnson & Johnson to Moderna.
People who get the Moderna will still have to schedule a second dose. Weaver said those details are still being worked out.
The health department says anyone with a Johnson & Johnson appointment at another location in the next two days may call 211 [(866) 211-9966] to cancel their appointment and reschedule at either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination site. Information regarding appointments beyond that timeframe will be provided at a later time.