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Vaccine woes won’t disrupt county’s plans

Staff writer

Marion County COVID-19 vaccination clinics will continue as planned despite Johnson & Johnson vaccines being halted by the state after problems developed with that vaccine.

The county last week held two vaccination clinics using Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but had no more planned for this week or later.

Health department administrator Diedre Serene said distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccines was halted because six vaccine recipients out of 7 million nationwide had serious reactions.

“Who knows if they had other health problems?” Serene said.

The six, all female, developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of being vaccinated. No similar reactions have been reported in Kansas.

She recommends anyone who has an adverse reaction to a COVID vaccination should report it to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.

Serene said anyone who develops abdominal pain, shortness of breath, severe headache, or severe leg pain six to 13 days after getting the vaccination should seek medical attention and tell their medical provider they got a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

She said the people who developed the problem were women between ages 18 and 48.

“We aren’t scheduling any clinics with Johnson & Johnson until they say it’s OK to,” Serene said.

A Moderna vaccine clinic is scheduled for Tuesday.

“If we have more than 40 it will be at the Lake Hall, and if fewer, it will be at the health department,” she said.

Visitor traffic is dwindling at the vaccine clinics, which Serene said she thought was because most people who wanted the shots got scheduled as soon as possible.

Vaccine clinics are being scheduled weekly but will be held more often if demand increases.

“To schedule an appointment they can go online to the county website, call the health department, or call their health care provider,” Serene said.

As of Tuesday evening, the health department reports one new case of COVID during the prior week. The patient is in isolation.

The new case brings the county’s total to 1,028 by the health department’s count and 1,048 by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s count.

The last day the county had two new positive tests in a single day was March 10. Three new cases were reported March 8.

Although 123 people statewide tested positive for virus variants, none were in Marion County.

“We do want to encourage people to wear masks and not give up hand-washing,” Serene said.

She also wants people to remain vigilant for signs of COVID.

“If anybody feels like they have any symptoms, they definitely need to contact their health care providers,” she said.

Last modified April 15, 2021

 

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