SAN BENITO, Texas – The City of San Benito has moved swiftly to switch from offering the Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine to the one offered by Moderna.

A clinic set up in conjunction with the Texas Army National Guard at the San Benito Fairgrounds was to have offered the J&J vaccine on Thursday, April 15. 

However, the state of Texas switched to the two-dose Moderna vaccine following a decision by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to pause the use of the J&J version.

City health officials and the Texas Army National Guard  will administer 500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine from 9 a.m to 1 p.m. on April 15 from a temporary clinic on the San Benito Fairgrounds, located at 551 Cesar Gonzalez Parkway.

The clinic is open to all adults 18 and older.

Pre-registration packets will be available for pickup at the San Benito Fairgrounds today, Wednesday, April 14, beginning at 9 a.m. until 500 packets have been distributed.

The City of San Benito says individuals that have registered for the vaccine must present a government-issued identification care, and a complete registration and consent form at the clinic on Thursday, April 15.

The City says no overnight parking will be allowed and no restroom facilities will be made available.

The FDA recommended a “pause” in the use of the single-dose Johns & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots. The agency said it was looking into unusual clots in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.

The acting FDA commissioner expects the pause to last only a matter of days, according the Associated Press. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, spoke about the FDA’s decision when appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program on Wednesday. 

“What are the options? The options are to come back and say we looked at it, nothing there. Not anymore than you would expect in the general population. Or, they may look and say, you know, we still have some concerns, we would like to restrict this to a certain group, whatever that group might be. Or, they may be saying, which I doubt very seriously, no, you should not give it anymore. I think one of the first two would be likely. But, then again, you don’t want to get ahead of the FDA and the CDC. They are looking at the data,” Fauci said.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows a healthcare worker holding a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in New York, January 29, 2021. (Photo: Mike Segar | Reuters)

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