FLORENCE, Ala. — In March, City of Florence District 1 Councilwoman Kaytrina Simmons pushed for COVID-19 vaccine clinics in her service area.
Chad’s Payless Pharmacy in west Florence partnered with her for the first clinic, administering more than 1300 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
This weekend, it’s time for those recipients to get their second shot but Simmons said she’s concerned after hearing some won’t return.
“I think some of that hesitation is basically due to what is going on with the Johnson & Johnson,” Simmons said.
Simmons said she understands there are rare cases of adverse reactions with any vaccine but is encouraging people to not miss out on that full protection—something she’s calling being “covinated.”
“I had Pfizer; I did fine both times and I think perhaps some of this affects people differently according to your body,” Simmons said.
Pharmacist Frances Heinze said Chad’s was supposed to receive a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson product after running out of Pfizer first doses, but she said the J&J pause shouldn’t deter people from receiving a different brand’s vaccine.
“The Pfizer vaccine is a completely different type of vaccine than the Johnson & Johnson, so the risks that they’re seeing—or potential risks that they’re seeing with the Johnson & Johnson is not applicable to the Pfizer dose,” Heinze said.
Heinze said getting the second dose is important as it ensures that recipients are protected against the virus. “Or if you do happen to get it, that you won’t have any of the complications that will land you in the hospital or be potentially fatal,” she added.
People who receive their second shots at Chad’s Payless Pharmacy on Saturday and Sunday will receive a free t-shirt and goody bags with masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer, compliments of Community Action of Northwest Alabama.