Man lands last-minute Pfizer appointment after pause of J&J

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Unlike several at the vaccine clinic in DeVos Place, Chris Knape’s time inside was completely unplanned.

“I was really looking forward to getting vaccinated,” Knape said. “I love the idea of a one and done.”

Knape has been a part of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinical trials since November. He was first given a placebo but was ready to get the actual shot Tuesday until it became unavailable.

“They still drew blood and they still did a COVID test, a nasal swab. But right in the middle of that COVID test, somebody came in and said, ‘We are not going to be doing anymore shots today,’” Knape said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended pausing the administration of the J&J vaccine after six women reported potentially dangerous blood clots that occurred six to 13 days after receiving the shot. It has not yet been determined if the blood clots are tied to the vaccine.

Unfazed by the federal government’s recommendation, Knape hopped online and landed a same-day appointment at DeVos Place. That’s where he received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Pastor Howard Earle Jr.  doesn’t believe everyone will have Knape’s determination.

“There will be some people that will say, ‘that’s why, that’s why I’m not getting vaccinated,’” said Earle of New Hope Baptist Church.

As someone who’s hosted vaccine clinics at his church, Earle doesn’t want minority communities’ faith to waver. He said the setback with the J&J’s vaccine shouldn’t discourage those weary of the shot from getting it.

“The greater risk is not being vaccinated and trying to live and remain COVID-free,” Earle said.