A limited number of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines became available at the Point Loma Nazarene University campus on Friday, April 9. This first round of doses was available by appointment only to PLNU employees, student employees and individuals with high-risk medical conditions. On April 9, 105 people were vaccinated at PLNU according to Caye Smith, vice president for student development and Title IX coordinator.
PLNU stopped their vaccine campaign with J&J in response to the CDC and FDA statement issued on April 13.
This statement recommended a pause to the J&J vaccine due to an ongoing investigation of six individual U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot after receiving the J&J vaccine. All cases were women, age 18-48, one of whom died.
The Wellness Center sent follow up emails to those who received the J&J vaccine on campus. This email contained information about symptoms that could lead to the clotting disorder reported by the CDC known as Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis.
In response to the brief discontinuation of the J&J vaccine, PLNU received 430 doses of the Moderna vaccine and vaccinated a total of 422 employees, students, family and friends on April 15 and 16.
In an email, the Wellness Center said they received 30 extra doses for family and friends of the PLNU community on April 16. A student, faculty, or staff may request an appointment on behalf of a family member or friend through an app called QuickBase.
According to Smith, the Wellness Center expected to administer another 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine the week of April 23 and said they will offer the J&J vaccine when it becomes available.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ended its recommended pause on the J&J vaccine on April 23. The FDA will add a warning to the vaccine’s label noting the potential risk of rare blood clots.
The Wellness Center will host vaccination clinics on Thursday and Friday each week that PLNU has a supply of vaccines.
The Moderna vaccine requires two shots administered 28-42 days apart. Individuals who receive the Moderna vaccine at PLNU will be allowed to schedule their second dose after they received their first dose.
All UC and CSU universities and some private universities such as University of San Diego have issued a statement requiring students to provide proof of vaccination in order to return to campus in the fall of 2021.
PLNU has said at this time they will not require a COVID-19 vaccination for the fall semester, but it is encouraged, as stated in an email sent to all students by PLNU President Bob Brower on April 12.
By: Ashlee Owings