Johnson & Johnson vaccines available in northwestern North Dakota, eastern Montana

(Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 1:20 PM CDT
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WILLISTON, N.D. - After taking a brief pause for safety concerns, the Johnson & Johnson Janssen coronavirus vaccine has returned to clinics and health units in North Dakota and Montana.

The Upper Missouri District Health Unit is holding vaccine clinics this week in Crosby, Watford City and Williston that will include the Janssen vaccine.

Executive Health Officer Javayne Oyloe says the risk of severe blood clots are very low, and that the health unit is still receiving requests for that vaccine.

“I think anybody who’s read the science on it realizes that it is a very rare thing and that if they visited with their physician and feel comfortable, there is absolutely no reason they shouldn’t receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” Oyloe said.

Oyloe says the one-shot dose is more advantageous for rural communities, transient workers, and college students looking to get vaccinated before summer break.

In Montana, the state’s Department of Public Health and Human Services recommended that providers resume use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The Richland County Health Department has more than 200 J&J doses available and are trying their first vaccine walk-in clinic May 5, at the department from 1 p.m.- 3 p.m. Mountain Time.

County Immunization Program Director Kathy Helmuth says the vaccine is safe but understands the concerns about the health risks. She says those concerned or undecided should be informed before getting the vaccine.

“They really should contact their primary care provider and get their guidance on which vaccine would be best for a particular individual,” said Helmuth.

Vaccination numbers for Williams, McKenzie and Richland (MT) Counties remain low compared to their respective state vaccine rates.

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