CLEVELAND — The expiration date is looming for thousands of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. Health departments from all over Northeast Ohio are working to administer them before they expire.
Earlier this week, Gov. Mike DeWine announced almost 200,000 doses of that specific vaccine will expire on June 23.
Distribution of the J&J vaccine paused for about two weeks in April this year after federal health officials said at the time they discovered a rare side effect of blood clots from more than a dozen women out of the nearly 8 million people who had already received that shot.
Here is a map of all the available doses in our area. You can also view the map by clicking here.
News 5 reached out to all 17 counties in Northeast Ohio regarding the amount of Johnson & Johnson vaccine left. Here’s what we found out.
Lorain County holds about 800 of the vaccines set to expire soon.
“It’s going to be hard to use up the 800 in a two-week period. So, we’ll see,” said Lorain County Commissioner Dave Covell.
For months, the refrigerator inside the Lorain County Public Health building felt like a bank vault. It kept vaccines safe before being used.
Nowadays, officials say it’s difficult giving away their remaining doses, since almost half their county population has received at least one dose so far.
“There’s no question that pause put some doubt in some folks’ minds, so they decided to go with Pfizer or Moderna and that’s fine, and it also took a couple weeks to come back and that was about the same time we weren’t having as much demand,” Covell said.
In the meantime, Covell said his teams continue to work on novel ways to reward getting the shot. Those incentives include free Lake Erie Crushers tickets, gift cards, and offering the vaccines at places such as local grocery stores, sporting events and concerts.
Lorain County was also one of the first counties to offer vaccine clinics where participants can choose which vaccine they would like to receive.
Covell told News 5 that Moderna and Pfizer continue to be picked over Johnson & Johnson at a substantial rate at those clinics.
County officials said they will use all available doses of the vaccine and none will be leftover or expire.
Their health department has 260 doses of the vaccine left. Officials are working to locate individuals who still want/need the vaccine. The county is hosting walk-in clinics and expects to administer all the doses before they expire.
The county has fewer than 100 doses on hand.
"We are confident that we will be able to use them prior to expiration," a county official said.
There are 460 doses of the vaccine left.
"Our goal is to use all doses before they expire. Our success will be determined by the outstanding demand by those individuals who are unvaccinated," county officials said.
The county has 50 doses of the J&J vaccine left. Officials are working to distribute the remaining doses.
The county doesn't have any J&J doses left.
A spokesperson with Huron County Public Health told News 5 they received 100 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from Seneca County Health Department on Tuesday and do not expect they will be able to use them all up before they expire.
A mass vaccination event targeting a specific population is tentatively planned for the end of the week that leaders say would help them use up many of the expiring doses.
You can call Huron County Public Health, located at 28 Executive Drive in Norwalk, to schedule an appointment for one of the 100 doses at 419-668-1652 ext. 241.
As of Wednesday morning, the county had 360 doses on hand. In order to use all of their doses, the county said it needs to administer around 35 vaccinations over the next 10 days.
The county has 55 doses of vaccine available. Officials estimate that all doses will be used before they expire.
There are around 470 doses of the vaccine. The county said it does not expect to administer all the doses before they expire.
The county does not currently have any doses of the J&J vaccine, according to officials.
Officials say a total of 3,700 doses of the J&J vaccine will expire. Workers are setting up pop-up clinics to try to use the remaining doses, but it's unclear if they will use all the doses set to expire.
There are around 200 doses of the vaccine left in the county that are set to expire. The county is hosting a drive-thru clinic Saturday at the health department's parking lot to distribute the doses. If any doses remain, another drive-thru clinic will be set up, officials said.
Wayne, Portage and Carroll counties
News 5 is waiting to hear back from these counties.
The chart below shows how Ohio's counties compare in getting their residents vaccinated:
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