By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County will replace all planned J&J vaccine doses with Moderna

Newberg City Councilor Elise Yarnell Hollamon spoke about the issue to a weekly Elected Officials Roundtable hosted on Zoom by County Commissioner Casey Kulla. Yarnell Hollamon, clinic manager for Providence Newberg Hospital, serves on the COVID response team for the hospital and oversees the hospital’s drive-through vaccination clinics.

“Up until last Saturday, we were doing Moderna exclusively,” Yarnell Hollamon said, but on April 10, the hospital received 1,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it administered at a vaccination clinic held at the A-dec facility in Newberg.

Providence holds weekly vaccine clinics hosted by A-dec; appointments are required.

Ironically, Yarnell Hollamon said, a manufacturing problem with the Johnson & Johnson doses that resulted in “a huge decrease in allocations last week” to the county may have helped, because it meant the hospital had already made plans to replace the Johnson & Johnson doses with Moderna doses instead. Neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer vaccines have been associated with the clotting problem experienced by six recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

County Health and Human Services Director Lindsey Manfrin was not available to speak on the Zoom meeting. She told the News-Register Thursday that the county will be using Moderna vaccine for all clinics where it had intended to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Public Health Department issued a statement on Facebook, providing a link to the CDC statement, and saying all vaccine clinics would use Moderna doses, and also provided a link in its weekly newsletter.

Manfrin said her department has “messaged to community members through our website, social media and phone bank to share information with individuals who may be concerned.”

The CDC announced
it was recommending the pause on Tuesday this week, sending health officials across the county scrambling to re-organize their plans. The Oregon Health Authority announced Tuesday it would follow the recommendation and ask all providers in the state to stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, until the CDC can provide further information.

CDC officials made the decision after learning six women had developed a rare form of blood clots in combination with low platelets, within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One of the women died, and another is in critical condition, according to The New York Times. All were between the ages of 18 and 48. None of the reported cases were in Oregon, the OHA said.

The CDC noted that as of April 12, some 6.8 million people had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. The OHA said that 85,148 doses have been administered in Oregon.

The blood clots are a rare and severe type that cannot be treated with the usual medication, the CDC said, but alternative medications are available.

The CDC statement said both it and the Food & Drug Administration will investigate the cases more thoroughly, and determine whether they were caused by the vaccine, and whether additional cases occurred.

It said the pause will also give the health care community time to plan how to manage any cases of the clotting disorder that might occur.

CDC said people who received the J&J vaccine who develop “severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.” Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at

The VAERS system allows anyone to fill out an online report to the CDC when they believe they have experienced an adverse reaction to a vaccine; staff evaluate the reports and determine whether they believe investigation is needed.

Johnson & Johnson also put out a statement, saying that “The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority.”

It said, “In addition, we have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe and pause vaccinations in all Janssen COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials while we update guidance for investigators and participants.”

COVID-19 cases
have been increasing in Yamhill County, in Oregon and the nation over the past month. On April 19, everyone 16 and older will become eligible for vaccines, but for this week, the county expected to receive only 2,000 doses of vaccine, still far short of what it has been hoping for, in order to be able to accelerate its vaccination rates.

Yamhill County reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing it to a total, to date, of 4,068 cases. There have been 74 deaths in the county.

The OHA’s weekly report, released on Wednesdays, shows last week was the third week in a row of surging daily cases, the OHA said, with more hospitalizations and deaths than the previous week.

It said there were 26% more new cases than the previous week, hospitalizations rose slightly, and there were 47 reported deaths; “the highest weekly total in five weeks.”

The OHA reported 816 new cases on Wednesday, and three deaths.

According to the OHA, 34,642 Yamhill County residents had received at least one dose of vaccine as of Wednesday. It lists the county population at 108,061.

An active outbreak was listed at the Sheridan prison, which has seen 84 cases since October 19; the most recent onset on March 31.

A school outbreak remains listed at Perrydale School outside Amity, which is over the Polk County line. Three students have been reported with COVID-19; the most recent on March 25.