KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A major error in manufacturing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine might not cause problems to supply here in Kansas City.
Late last month, J & J announced 15 million doses had to be tossed after an ingredient mix-up during production.
At the Veterans Administration Honor Annex in east Kansas City, the VA is vaccinating thousands of veterans, their spouses and caregivers. For those who want that one and done shot, there will be no trouble getting it this week.
Anthony Giancola is rolling up his sleeves getting his final dose of protection against COVID-19. The Army and Afghan war veteran is thankful to be fully vaccinated weeks before his upcoming wedding and honeymoon.
“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Everything went off very well. Everybody was friendly. There were no issues whatsoever,” Giancola said.
Since December, the Kansas City VA’s given more than 36,000 COVID vaccine doses. Nearly half of recipients are now fully vaccinated.
“There’s still that relief—people feel they have hope. It brings that and think that’s what’s great about running these clinics almost every day of the week,” said David Isaacks, Kansas City VA Medical Center Director.
Despite a major disruption in production of the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine, many local clinics, including the VA, continue to get regular shipments. This week, the KCVA is hosting two clinics offering the single dose-shot.
“This month, we have about 2200 doses we’ve already received and we’re going to receive about 500 doses weekly going forward of J & J. So if veterans are interested in that, this week’s a great opportunity to get ahead with tomorrow’s clinic as well as Thursday’s clinic,” Isaacks said.
Local health departments, including Johnson and Wyandotte Counties aren’t expecting the J & J production error to slow down their progress in vaccinating the public. In fact, the Unified Government is hosting single-dose shot clinics every Saturday this month.
The state of Missouri also does not anticipate any issues with upcoming mass vaccine clinics.
Veteran Anthony Giancola hopes now that everyone’s eligible in Missouri and Kansas, people will find a dose and get vaccinated.
“If you want to come down, I know there’s going to be room for you,” Giancola said.
The single dose J & J clinic will be available at the Honor Annex Outpatient VA Clinic, 4251 Northern Ave in Kansas City, Mo., Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
You don’t have to make an appointment, and can just walk-in. But you can schedule ahead if a specific time works best by calling (816) 922-2619.
There’s another opportunity south of town Thursday, in conjunction with a VA health fair at Memorial Church International, 11424 Hickman Mills Dr. In Kansas City, Mo. It runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Both clinics are open to all veterans, their spouses and caregivers. You do not need a patient history with the VA to take advantage of these opportunities.