CVS stops giving J&J Covid vaccines in pharmacies, but still offers blows to some MinuteClinics

A nurse administered a blow to the FEMA-supported COVID-19 vaccination site at Valencia State College the first day the site resumed offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

CVS Health has stopped offering single-dose Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson in its pharmacies, now delivering only shots at about 10% of its outlets, the company told CNBC on Wednesday.

The pharmacy chain said it has made the change in recent weeks. He said customers can also get shots at nearly 1,000 MinuteClinic locations in 25 states and Washington DC MinuteClinics is located in some of the company’s pharmacies and provides non-emergency medical care and other services, such as diagnostic tests and vaccines.

CVS pharmacies will continue to offer the Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern Covid vaccines at two doses across the country, according to CVS spokesman Mike DeAngelis. He declined to say how many pharmacies were affected by the change but he said it would help with the supply chain of pharmacies in the pharmacy chain.

CVS has more than 9,900 sales locations, according to its 2020 annual report.

J&J did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on the change.

The J&J vaccine was promoted by federal health officials as a blessing when it was authorized by the FDA in late February because it requires a single dose and can be stored at refrigerator temperature for months. He then suffered little perception from the public about his overall effectiveness, concerns about rare side effects and production delays.

For some Americans, concerns about the one-shot vaccine have intensified with the rise of the delta variant, which spreads more easily and can cause more serious illnesses than the original coronavirus. Some people even go so far as to seek an additional dose, which is not even recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This week, San Francisco health officials said they would allow patients who received the J&J vaccine to get a second shot produced by both Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern.

The change from CVS will impact the availability of shots for many Americans. The J&J vaccine has not seen a strong take in the United States like mRNA vaccines.

About 13.5 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the United States since Tuesday, according to data compiled by the CDC. That compares to a combination of 333.6 million doses for the Pfizer and Modern vaccines.

Dr. Paul Offit, who served on advisory panels for the CDC and for the Food and Drug Administration, said the J&J vaccine has really “suffered” since in April federal health officials asked states to temporarily stop the use of the shot “for abundant caution.” While investigating six women who developed a rare but serious disorder of blood clotting, she said

The recommended pause was lifted 10 days after U.S. officials determined that the benefits of the inoculation outweighed its risks.

“I think the public feels that the vaccine has been on the market for a period of time and it’s just hard to get past that scarlet letter,” said Offit, also director of the Vaccine Education Center at the hospital. the children of Philadelphia.

The company and U.S. health officials have argued that the one-dose vaccine is safe and very effective, particularly against serious illnesses, hospitalizations and death. J&J reported last month that new research has found that its vaccine was effective against the highly contagious delta, even eight months after inoculation.

–Nate Rattner of CNBC contributed to this report.

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