Portland, Ore. –Federal health officials are calling for an immediate pause in the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine due to concerns about rare blood clots. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock told reporters the recommendation was made out of an abundance of caution. She said the FDA and CDC want more time to review the data and noted that the pause could last only a matter of days. The FDA’s Dr. Peter Marks called the pause a recommendation, not a mandate. Six women developed blood clots a week or two after they were vaccinated. One woman died and another is in critical condition. Woodcock called the cases extremely rare.
Dr. Marks said there are no such concerns with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. J&J is providing the only single-dose vaccine. CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat [[ SHOOK-it ]] said the risks are “very low” for those who have received the J&J vaccine. For those who have recently received a J&J shot, Schuchat said serious side effects should be reported to a patient’s personal physician immediately. That includes severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. Schuchat noted that the safety of vaccines and the safety of the American people is a matter of utmost importance to federal health officials.
The Oregon Health Authority issued the following statement regarding the call from the FDA:
Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has asked all of the state’s vaccine providers to immediately stop administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, per the announcement from the U.S. CDC and FDA this morning. This is out of an abundance of caution as they review six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women ages 18-48 after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Full statement from Fred Meyer:
“Effective immediately,as we await further guidance from the FDA and the CDC, Kroger’s Family of Pharmacies and The Little Clinics (collectively,”Kroger”) will pause administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Kroger will continue administering the Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose Covid-19 vaccine. if the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is not available, Kroger will work with the patient to reschedule their vaccination appointment.”
Albertsons and Safeway Statement:
” The health and safety of out patients is our top priority. Per the federal government’s recommendation, we have paused use of the Janssen (J&J) vaccine. Patients who have an appointment scheduled for the Jannssen vaccine will be notified that their appointment has been canceled, and they will be directed to a link to reschedule for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. We add appointments to our online scheduler as doses become available. We appreciated the community’s patience and understanding.”