Medical Center Not Affected by Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Suspension, Begins Accepting Walk-Ins

Apr 13, 2021

Dr. Melinda Joyce, VP of Corporate Support Services for Med Center Health, helps oversee a mass vaccination clinic in Bowling Green.
Credit Lisa Autry

A health expert from The Medical Center in Bowling Green says the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine won’t be crippling to Kentucky’s vaccination efforts. 

Kentucky has received few shipments of the one-doses vaccine, but the commonwealth is joining all other states and temporarily suspending use of the vaccine to investigate potentially dangerous blood clots. 

Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been distributed mostly to Kentucky’s independent pharmacies and the correctional system.  Dr. Melinda Joyce, VP for Corporate Support Services for Med Center Health, says the mass vaccination clinic run by the Medical Center has received none of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and doesn’t plan to in the future.

"What I am concerned about though is whether this will increase the vaccine hesitancy we’ve seen," Dr. Joyce told WKU Public Radio.

The Medical Center in Bowling Green and its satellite locations in Albany, Caverna, Franklin, and Scottsville are primarily giving the Pfizer vaccine.  That’s because the Med Center Health system has specialized freezers required for storing the vaccine at extremely cold temperatures. 

Joyce says there are plenty of doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and the Medical Center’s Bowling Green location has begun taking walk-ins on Sundays-Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m-3:30 p.m.  Joyce says if enough vaccine isn’t available at a particular time, those who show up at the mass vaccination site will be given an appointment to come back.

Vaccinations sites around the state are currently immunizing those 16 years of age and older.