Video above, transcript below.


Good afternoon, we’re here with Lindsey Mendez, COVID-19 vaccine task force member and family nurse practitioner for the April 15th Media Availability. Thanks for being with us, would you like to start by addressing the community?

Yes, hi Humboldt, this is Lindsey Mendez, family nurse practitioner again. Today I’m coming to give you a first an upfront about the Janssen vaccine, as there are many questions in the community and all around the United States.

At this time the CDC and FDA have made the decision to put the Janssen vaccine on hold because of a very rare medical condition which is a rare clotting disorder. Right now they are looking at evidence and data that’s being presented to them on six cases out of 7 million that have presented with this uncommon disorder. We are not canceling this vaccine but we merely have it on hold so that we can use safety as our highest priority in this investigation.

At this time we would like you to be aware that this is a clotting disorder and so if you have any questions and have gotten this vaccine in the last two weeks and you have any severe symptoms listed by the CDC then you should call your health care provider or perhaps seek emergency care.

With that said, this is a very rare condition and we are waiting on more evidence from the CDC.

Thank you, we’ll get into questions from the media. From KMUD News: If vaccines are now proven effective for six months plus, are people going to have to receive another vaccine by next winter?

Right now we are still doing research with Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen and I do not have an answer for that at this time but we will continue to present research as it comes.

From KMUD News: Are we seeing any vaccinated individuals contract COVID-19? If someone is unaware that they are COVID positive and receives the vaccine could there be complications?

At this time in Humboldt County I am not aware of any major cases of COVID-19 in affiliation with persons who have been vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine. With that said, if you happen to be COVID positive and you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, we are not aware of any safety warnings for that.

From KMUD News: Why do you think the traditional vaccines like J and J and the European approved Astrozenica have been linked to blood clots?

From the North Coast News: When people are experiencing a fever after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are they contagious for spreading the virus?
— Actual question

The disorders that were linked to the blood clots, so the clotting disorders that Astrazeneca and both Janssen have been researching around the world are extremely uncommon and usually due to a severe immunological response that is rare. Right now the research continues to tell us why this might be the case and how this occurs in these certain individuals.

From KMUD News: If someone misses their appointment for their second dose what should they do to still receive timely protection?

If you still need your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine I would encourage you to continue to mask and socially distance yourselves and wash your hands like we would do in any other time during this pandemic.

If you are having trouble making your second dose appointment and you don’t know how to do it I would welcome you to call the Joint Information Center at 441-5000 or the place that you originally got your dose of the vaccine from.

From KMUD News: Can you remind folks the differences between the J and J vaccine and its mRNA counterparts?

Yes, the J&J vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine and when we look at that the difference between the mRNA and the DNA is that in the in the J and J vaccine you have a virus that doesn’t cause us problems coming into the body through an injection and then it is traveling into the host cells or your cell.

If you got the injection and this would carry to the nucleus of the cell the DNA required to make the spike protein, excuse me, so this is extremely similar to how the mRNA vaccine works, it’s just where we are putting the information to make the spike protein.

From the North Coast News: When people are experiencing a fever after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine are they contagious for spreading the virus?

At that time, no.The fever is the body’s natural reaction to building immunity and does not mean that you are contagious and you are not contagious after you have received the vaccine.

From the North Coast News: Do you anticipate the temporary pause of the J&J vaccine to increase vaccine hesitancy in Humboldt County? Could this potentially pose a problem in those communities where the vaccine may be preferable such as in outlying communities and among people without transportation?

Yes in previous discussions about the J&J vaccine in Humboldt County we were using this vaccine as a priority in areas that were rulely isolated with persons experiencing homelessness and other people that maybe don’t have proper transportation or can’t get a second dose in a timely manner.

This will cause some of a delay with getting to this population and with the logistics of how we were going to give vaccine.

We understand that it could be complicated when we’ve had to cancel appointments for this specific vaccine but we would encourage you that if you have been offered a dose of another vaccine to take this at this time.

We would hope that even if there is some hesitancy around this that you would understand that as we look at the data and the research about the side effects and possibly this rare condition with the Johnson vaccine that the CDC and FDA do this for safety purposes and that we are hopeful that we will move forward with the Johnson vaccine in the future.

From the Times-Standard: This week it was reported that more than 200 people in Washington state who were fully vaccinated tested positive for coronavirus. Have there been any cases of fully vaccinated people in Humboldt County testing positive for COVID-19?

I am not aware of any specific cases of fully vaccinated people testing positive for COVID-19 I would stress though that if you are feeling ill or you have been in contact with another person with COVID-19 to get tested and that the Humboldt County Public Health branch and laboratory continue to work extremely hard to do investigations.

From the Times-Standard: If people are getting COVID-19 after being vaccinated is there an indication of a need for booster shots?

Right now the booster shots are still being researched with all three vaccines of the timing of when we would need one and we do not have the research out yet and we will present that to you when we have it.

From the Times-Standard: The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said this week that all three vaccines offered in the U.S. are tied to rare blood clots. Can you speak to that?

Misinformation is everywhere, especially on the internet or in communities where we are talking to each other and speculating. I really would encourage everyone to talk to their primary care provider or look on the CDC or CDPH website for the safety information of the COVID-19 vaccines.