Watch CBS News

Philadelphia-Area Clinics Temporarily Close, Pivot After FDA, CDC Recommend Pausing Use Of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 Vaccine

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Several COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Philadelphia region are temporarily closing after the CDC and FDA recommended Tuesday the U.S. pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine over six reported cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot.

Vaccination sites across the city had to quickly pivot from the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Moderna or Pfizer vaccines this morning. And as a result, some locations that only offered the J&J vaccine had to temporarily shut down.

The FEMA Esperanza clinic in Hunting Park, a site where the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is usually distributed, is now closed after the CDC and FDA recommended a delay on distribution.

In North Philly, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium immediately pulled the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well. But their site at Deliverance Evangelistic Church was in full swing. Luckily for folks in line waiting for the "one and done," the Moderna shot is a viable alternative.

"People out here getting sick, they gotta help somebody someway somehow," Kensington resident Allen Jacobs said.

The city announced all COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Philadelphia will stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice.

"Just take the J&J off the market. Take that off the market and go with the other two," North Philadelphia resident Faye Lombardo said.

Health officials are advising patients who have already received the J&J shot and developed severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of getting the vaccine to immediately contact their health care provider.

"You might want to talk to your doctor about any medications that cause an increased propensity to bleed if you got the Johnson & Johnson," Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium founder Dr. Ala Stanford said.

The BDCC is currently looking at their data and reaching out to the people that were serviced with J&J's vaccine starting March 12.

If you have a city-based vaccine appointment scheduled in the near future, you will want to call ahead to find out about the changes -- whether it's a city or federal site, or even a pharmacy -- as supply has been affected. However, officials say everyone who still needs a vaccine should be able to access one.

See which sites have been affected below.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health told all COVID-19 vaccine providers in the state to stop administering the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine until at least April 20 "out of an abundance of caution."

According to federal data, Pennsylvania has received 778,000 doses of the J&J vaccine and administered more than 257,000.

The Wolf administration had reserved its initial allotment of the J&J vaccine for educators. The vast majority of Pennsylvania residents who have been vaccinated received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, which are unaffected by the pause.

Bucks County

In Bucks County, the vaccination site at Warwick Square was the only one currently using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. County officials there say that site will not be open Tuesday, per the state's directive.

Their other four sites, at Neshaminy Mall and the three community college campuses, use only Pfizer and will proceed as scheduled.

Chester County

Chester County announced late Tuesday all of its clinics will stay open this week, offering Moderna to anyone scheduled to get Johnson & Johnson.

The Brandywine YMCA in Coatesville and the evening clinic at the Government Services Center in West Chester were the only clinics administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those sites have transitioned to administering the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday.

The Health Department is contacting everyone who has an appointment for the vaccine at those locations to offer the Moderna vaccine instead. The Health Department says they will continue to reach out to individuals who have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine scheduled to provide vaccine options.

Roughly around 11 a.m. Tuesday, 574 people scheduled to get the J&J vaccine here at the West Chester Government Center received an email that they'd now be getting Moderna instead.

Officials say they had enough supply on hand to make the switch happen despite the short notice and those who were able to keep their appointments say they were just grateful to have a spot for a shot.

"A little concerned just because of the blood clotting," Emily Holecz said.

The Holecz family was scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine on Tuesday at the West Chester Government Center.

"We were thinking, 'do we cancel, do we reschedule?" David Holecz said.

Appointment holders here are some of the lucky ones locally able to keep their spot in line, swapping from J&J to Moderna.

"I was just happy not to have to reschedule again," Lydia Holman said.

"I just wanted to get a vaccine," Amy Auker said. "It didn't matter to me which one."

Delaware County

In Delaware County, the county had been using the J&J vaccine for its homebound program and its homeless outreach program and will now be using the Moderna vaccine for these two programs. The J&J vaccine had been used at County's large-scale vaccination site at Delaware County Community College. They will temporarily relocate this site and will administer either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. People who have appointments at Delaware County Community College will be contacted with updated appointment information.

Delaware County says it's requesting larger quantities of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine.

Montgomery County

In Montgomery County, J&J vaccination clinics scheduled for April 13 and April 14 are suspended. Clinics distributing Pfizer will run on a normal schedule. The updated clinic schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

  • OPEN: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell (2nd dose – Pfizer)
  • OPEN: Norristown Area High School, Norristown (1st doses – Pfizer)
  • CLOSED: Parkside Shopping Center, Willow Grove (between Planet Fitness and Rally House) (One dose - J&J)
  • CLOSED: Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale (One dose - J&J)
  • CLOSED: Bethel Community Church of Pottstown, Pottstown (One dose - J&J)
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
  • OPEN: Montgomery County Community College, Blue Bell (1st and 2nd doses – Pfizer)
  • OPEN: Norristown Area High School, Norristown (1st dose – Pfizer)
  • CLOSED: Parkside Shopping Center, Willow Grove (between Planet Fitness and Rally House) (One dose - J&J)
  • CLOSED: Trinity Lutheran Church, Lansdale (One dose - J&J)
  • CLOSED: Bethel Community Church of Pottstown, Pottstown (One dose - J&J)

Anyone with a scheduled appointment to receive the J&J vaccine for April 13 or 14 will be contacted via email to reschedule their appointment for a later date. The Montgomery County COVID-19 vaccine webpage will be updated with any further operational updates at

New Jersey

In New Jersey, Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said all of the state's vaccination sites, about 700 total, will cancel or put appointments for the J&J vaccine on hold.

The Camden County Department of Health announced they are pausing the use of the vaccine. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will continue to be provided at the Camden County College vaccine clinic and at the Kroc Center. The Camden County Health Department says based on the current inventory they will not be rescheduling any of their patients.

"This morning the Camden County Department of Health has been monitoring the latest news from the FDA regarding the J&J vaccine and the six impacted patients in Nebraska. Based on the information that currently exists, and out of an abundance of caution, with guidance from state Department of Health and our healthcare partners, we will be pausing the use of the vaccine," the Camden County Department of Health said in a statement. "The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will continue to be provided at the Camden County College vaccine clinic and at the Kroc Center and based on the current inventory we will not be rescheduling any of our patients. That said, we do want to take this opportunity to continue to advocate and underscore the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccine is the only way for us to crush this virus and get to a post-pandemic world."

Gloucester County

Gloucester County says their mega-site will be holding all Johnson & Johnson vaccines until further notice.

Under the recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), New Jersey Department of Health and Gloucester County Medical Director Dr. Josette Palmer, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not be distributed until cleared by health authorities.

"We are putting the safety of our residents first until the CDC and State confirm the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine," said Director Robert M. Damminger. "We are committed to safely vaccinating at the Gloucester County Mega Site and will continue to do so."

Individuals traveling to the Gloucester County Mega Vaccination Site will receive the Pfizer vaccine at the time of their appointment. If individuals would like to cancel their appointment, please do so by utilizing the link in your email from the New Jersey Department of Health.

Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at

CBS3's Alecia Reid and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.