Door, Kewaunee county health departments cancel appointments for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
The loss of the use of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson had a temporary effect on vaccination schedules this week for the public health departments in Kewaunee and Door counties.
Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services instructed all vaccination providers in the state to stop using the one-dose J&J vaccine, at least temporarily, because reports of severe blood clots as a side effect in a limited number of patients nationwide — six cases in more than 6.8 million shots — are being investigated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The Kewaunee County health department had openings Wednesday and Thursday, April 14 and 15, for appointments with its COVID-19 vaccine clinics for anyone ages 16 and older because it had more doses on hand than people on its waiting list and didn't want them to go to waste.
The plan called for the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be administered Wednesday, with the J&J vaccine to be given Thursday. Those Thursday appointments were canceled.
Kewaunee County Public Health director Cindy Kinnard said people who already were scheduled to receive a J&J vaccine were offered appointments for a Pfizer shot this week or next.
In Door County, its Health and Human Services Department canceled 81 appointments for people to receive the J&J vaccine Tuesday and Wednesday, director Joe Krebsbach said. However, he added the department had no appointments for that vaccine beyond Wednesday and is offering those appointments for the Pfizer vaccine over the next two weeks to those whose shots were canceled.
Also, Door County Medical Center wasn't administering the J&J vaccine this week so its schedules remain on track, DCMC communications specialist Erin Shortall said. Shortall said the hospital did administer105 J&J vaccines last week, and those patients have been told by email or phone what they should do if symptoms of the side effects arise.
Regarding coronavirus statistics over the past week, the percentage of positive tests in each county over the past week fell notably after two consecutive weeks of high numbers, although each also reported one death attributed to COVID-19 for the first time in several weeks.
The seven-day positivity rate for Door County between April 6 and 12 was 13.5%, with 20 of 148 test results coming back positive. While still a high percentage, it's a major drop from 35.7%, 19.3% and 23% in each the three preceding weeks.
And, after two straight weeks in which its positivity rate jumped from single to double digits, the rate in Kewaunee County from April 3 to 9 fell to 8%.
The percentage of positive tests, aka positivity rate, over a given time is a metric used by many health organizations to gauge the spread of the virus in a community, and the World Health Organization has said that a rate of more than 5% is concerning because it means testing isn’t widespread enough to capture the spread of the virus among the general population.
The death attributed to COVID-19 complications in Kewaunee County was the 35th in the county but the first in 12 weeks, since the third week of January, while Door County reported its 22nd coronavirus-related death, its first in three weeks.
RELATED: Wisconsin health department halts Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 'extremely rare' but severe side effects reported
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Statistics as of April 12 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests in past week (since April 5):
- Kewaunee County, 7, 2 less previous week
- Door County, 20, same as previous week
Negative tests in past week:
- Kewaunee, 80
- Door, 128
Seven-day percentage of positive tests (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 8% (12.1% the week before)
- Door, 13.5% (was 35.7%)
- Wisconsin, 3.8% (was 3.7%)
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee: 2,573
- Door: 2,552
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee: 9,402
- Door: 14,377
Cumulative positivity rate since testing began:
- Kewaunee, 21.5%
- Door, 15%
Positive tests per 100,000 residents over past week:
- Kewaunee, 34, 68th among state's 72 counties
- Door, 69, 41st in state
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 35, one in past week (first in 12 weeks)
- Door, 22, one in past week
Hospitalizations from the virus in past week:
- Kewaunee, none
- Door, one
- Kewaunee, 13 (was 15 as of April 2);
- Door, 125 (was 125)
- Kewaunee, 2,525
- Door, data not available
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 6,743 (33%) received at least one dose, 4,846 (23.7%) completed their cycles
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 15,139 (54.7%) received at least one dose, most among state's 72 counties (Bayfield 51.1%), 9,614 (34.7%) completed their cycles, third-most in state
- Wisconsin, 1,922,832 (33%) at least one dose, 1,171,309 (20.1%) completed their cycles
Vaccine doses given in past week:
- Kewaunee, 735 first doses, 787 completed their cycles
- Door, 1,721 first doses, 1,699 completed their cycles
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Door, Kewaunee county health departments cancel appointments for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine