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CDC and FDA recommend pausing J&J vaccine, here’s what’s affected locally

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Steven Cornfield / Unsplash
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A rare blood-clotting reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has prompted state and federal agencies to suggest 'pausing' its use.

On Tuesday, local officials responded to urging by state and federal authorities to 'pause' the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While New Hanover County vaccination sites have not been affected, UNCW's did pause its campus clinic until further notice.

New Hanover County received the recommendation on Tuesday morning from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution, while the CDC and FDA review rare cases of blood clots as a result of the vaccine.

To read the county’s full statement on that, go here.

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As of April 12th, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered across the U.S. From those 6.8 million, there have been 6 US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.

People who have received the J&J vaccine should continue monitoring their health, and contact their primary healthcare provider about any side effects they may be experiencing. In addition, residents should report any possible side effects (called adverse events) to the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

The vaccination clinics currently planned through New Hanover County Public Health are using the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, so no planned clinics will be impacted by this pause in administering the J&J vaccine.

According to New Hanover County Public Health Director David Howard:

The FDA has paused use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six people in the US developed a rare blood-clotting disorder. These reported adverse reactions are extremely rare, and we want to encourage the public to continue trusting the FDA-approved vaccines because they are effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19 and are a key factor in helping to end this pandemic. Public Health will continue to monitor this evolving review and assessment of the J&J vaccine, and will continue its work in promoting and protecting the health of our residents.

Based on guidance from state and federal health authorities, UNCW paused its COVID-19 vaccination clinic, which had been administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, until further notice. UNCW said it has not yet received any reports of similar health concerns by those vaccinated at the campus clinic.

To read the university’s full notice, go here.

As of April 12th, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered across the U.S. From those 6.8 million, there have been 6 US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot. All six were women, between the ages of 18 and 48.

To view the Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine, go here.

Tips or comments? Email Katelyn Freund at reporter@whqr.org.

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