Anti-vaxxer tells Ohio legislature: The vaccines are magnetizing people and making forks stick to their foreheads

Maybe I got a bum dose of Pfizer because I can report this morning that forks do not, in fact, stick to my forehead.

Keys do. I haven’t lost my keys once since being vaccinated, now that I can slap them across my hairline and leave them there.

But forks may be too heavy for Pfizer’s weak magnetic powers.

This clip is a minor viral sensation today thanks to vax-skeptic Sherri Tenpenny. As with so many anti-vaxxers, she appears to be not very alarmed by a disease that’s killed 600,000 people but gravely concerned about the number of alleged deaths from vaccination, which she couldn’t quantify when asked.

Garbage like that is partly responsible — but only partly — for America’s newest vaccination problem, the fact that millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine are sitting on shelves, unused.

Something like 10 million doses are wasting away at a moment when less than half of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated. It’d be nice if we could lay all of that off on anti-vax propaganda but it wasn’t fear of forks sticking to their heads that put Americans off of J&J. It was the real but extremely remote threat of developing a serious blood clot after getting the shot that led the FDA to “pause” it, a blow to the vaccine from which it’s never recovered. “We went from having a waiting list to give somebody a shot to having maybe one shot a day or four shots a day,” said one pharmacist in South Carolina to Reuters about J&J. Another in Nebraska told the news outlet that he had contracted with several companies to provide J&J to their employees before the pause. “Some of them are trucking companies and some others with more blue-collar or hard-to-get-to employees,” he noted, citing the virtue of the vaccine’s single-dose regimen. But after the pause, “probably 80 percent of them said ‘Let’s just stick with Pfizer and Moderna.'”

That’s the tragedy of the J&J snafu. It was supposed to be the vaccine that appealed to people who were vaccine-hesitant because it required only one jab and didn’t involve unproven technology like the mRNA vaccines. As it is, it’s now the vaccine that holdouts are most likely to avoid due to fear of side effects.

But it gets worse. Vaccines don’t retain their efficacy forever; some of the 10 million J&J doses sitting in refrigerators right now will expire in a matter of weeks. They could be saving lives in India or Brazil or some other hot spot. Instead they may end up being flushed down the toilet.

Philadelphia has 42,000 J&J doses set to expire, most of which came from a Federal Emergency Management Agency clinic at the city’s convention center a few days before the pause, a city spokesman said. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Ohio and Arkansas are among states that report having thousands of J&J doses set to expire this month and have been unable to redistribute them.

“There’s no way at the end of June that we’re not going to have a couple thousand expiring,” said Danielle Hilborn, who helps oversee Covid-19 vaccines for McLaren Health Care Corp. The hospital system based outside Flint, Mich., has more than 3,500 J&J doses set to expire this month, despite having moved doses among its hospitals. The hospital system also shipped 1,100 Pfizer doses to a county health department…

J&J stores doses frozen until shipment by the government, at which point they are refrigerated. Doses can be refrigerated for three months, and the drugmaker is studying whether the shelf life can be extended, a company spokesman said.

It’ll be a travesty if millions of doses are left to expire, and Biden should have to answer for it. Once the pause was ordered, why didn’t the feds anticipate a steep decline in demand and make contingency plans for what to do with the remaining supply? They should have begun collecting J&J doses from pharmacies in May and evacuating them to India or wherever. It sounds like they’re scrambling to make amends now, having just donated one million doses to Mexico. More of that, please. The clock’s ticking.