CVS Health will no longer be offering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at its pharmacy locations.
CVS MinuteClinics, small facilities within some locations, will still offer the J&J shots, though they only account for ten percent of the company’s locations.
This is yet another setback for the New Jersey-based firm, which has been troubled since its vaccine first received approval in February.
CVS will no longer carry the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its pharmacy locations after months of turmoil for the one-dose jab. Pictured: a CVS pharmacy location in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania
CVS Health did not offer a reason behind the halt to CNBC.
However, the chain said it has been using up all its J&J vaccine and its pharmacies – and not ordering more doses – for several weeks now.
However, CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis did say that the company’s 1,000 MinuteClinic locations, which provide non-emergency services, in 25 states and the District of Columbia, will still offer the vaccines.
Faith in the only one-shot vaccine available in the U.S. has faltered over the past several months.
Only weeks after approval, the vaccine’s use was paused by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after cases of some recipients forming blood clots.
The pause was lifted after 11 days, but with a new blood clot warning added to the label.
Also in April, a Baltimore plant that was manufacturing the shots had to be shut down and 75 million doses discarded after some vials of the vaccine were contaminated with ingredients from the AstraZeneca vaccine, and investigation revealed unsanitary conditions.
The Baltimore factory has since reopened.
Mike Duggan, mayor of Detroit, even declined the city’s initial allotment of the J&J vaccine in March, saying the Pfizer and Moderna versions were better.
‘So, Johnson & Johnson is a very good vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the best. And I am going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of the city of Detroit get the best,’ Duggan said.
Last month, the FDA revised the vaccine’s label, adding a warning that the shot had been linked to Guillain-Barré, a rare autoimmune disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks their own nerves.
Earlier this week in San Francisco, the city began to offer people who previously received the J&J vaccine a ‘supplemental’ shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine on request.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has faced setbacks from when it was first approved. Within only weeks, its approval was paused due to issues with blood clotting. Pictured: A vial of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been used in the United States 13.5 million times, a figure that pales in comparison to the usage of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine
‘We remain committed to helping end this deadly pandemic as quickly as possible,’ Johnson & Johnson wrote in a statement, according to CNBC.
‘A single-shot vaccine that provides protection and prevents hospitalization and death is an important tool in the global fight against COVID-19.
‘Evidence from our Phase 3 ENSEMBLE study demonstrates the efficacy of the J&J single-shot COVID-19 vaccine, including against viral variants that are highly prevalent. Regardless of race and ethnicity, age, geographic location and comorbidities, these results remain consistent.’
At the start of July, the company released data showing its vaccine was effective in combatting the Indian ‘Delta’ variant even eight months after receival.
A New York University study found otherwise, though, with researchers finding the vaccine did little to combat the Delta variant.
The vaccine has been administered 13.5 million times, according to official data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dwarfed by the Pfizer vaccine (194 million administered) and Moderna (139 million).