Tens of thousands of J&J vaccine doses set to expire across Philadelphia area

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- At this point in the pandemic, vaccine talk generally boils down to a few key things: Those already vaccinated, those who aren't and aren't looking to get one, and those who were unsure about which vaccine to get.

It's no secret that the popularity of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine took a hit after last month's pause on its use.

It could be why Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties currently have a supply of the vaccine about to expire in the coming weeks.

While the city is looking to use a little more than 600 shots, the other four counties have thousands that need to be used before June.

RELATED: Pennsylvania reports 50% of adults are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

"I think there were a lot of people on the fence and that pause made some of those people move off the fence, and we've got to get them back on," said Bucks Co Health Director Dr. David Damsker.

Besides clinic availability, counties have shifted energy to programs to bring the vaccine right to homes.

Some are also offering incentives.

On Thursday, Bucks County officials gave Rita's Italian Ice coupons to those who get the shot.

"One person on the ICU from COVID costs a lot more than what we are spending on these gift cards," Damsker said.

But now, officials will have to contend with a slow down in those looking to get the vaccine.

According to the numbers compiled by the Action News Data Journalism Team, over the last week, Pennsylvania has seen a 12% drop in people who've become fully vaccinated. That number is 28% percent in New Jersey.

All the more reason vaccine advocates like Cleola Taylor are driving the vaccine message home.

"There's a lot of people that need to know how important it is," Taylor said.

Each county is working with one another to get the vaccine to where they are needed most.

Some are gearing to shut down vaccine clinics as the focus turns to those in-home visits for those unable to get to a vaccine site.
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