The Daily Gamecock

USC did not administer Johnson & Johnson vaccines prior to federal call to pause its use

The USC Center for Health and Well-Being was completed in 2017.
The USC Center for Health and Well-Being was completed in 2017.

The University of South Carolina did not administer any Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, according to Michelle Gough, director of nursing at the Student Health Center.

On April 7, Student Body President Alex Harrell said the university had access to and was planning to use the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

On April 13, the CDC and FDA both recommended the vaccine cease to be used after it was linked to rare and severe blood clots. According to reporting done by CNN, six cases of blood clotting were reported among 6.8 million uses of the vaccine. 

The university ceased to offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on campus starting on April 13.

The university still has 1,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. According to Gough, USC had 1,850 doses of Moderna and 1,000 of Pfizer as of April 19. Gough said the Johnson & Johnson vaccines expire in June and the university wants to return the doses to DHEC.

"The person that's in charge of the COVID testing and vaccine clinic reached out to DHEC yesterday to find out what they want us to do with these vaccines. Right now, they were telling us to store them appropriately, which we have been," Gough said.

Every week, USC orders enough vaccine doses to fulfill first and second-dose vaccine appointments made for the week.

The vaccine doses are stored in a "large vaccine storage refrigerator" in the Allergy Immunization Travel clinic at the Student Health Center according to Gough. The refrigerator is powered by a generator backup and is constantly monitored.   

Gough said the Lexington Medical Center provided enough Pfizer vaccines to cover the appointments made for the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The Lexington Medical Center held a pop-up vaccine clinic that occurred after the federal call to pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine use.