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Idaho joins pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) - The Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) is recommending Idaho vaccine providers not use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until more information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

This recommendation was made after receiving information Tuesday morning the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data for six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Vaccine safety is the nation’s and Idaho’s No. 1 priority. The CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in administering the vaccine until information can be updated and given to healthcare providers about how to evaluate people who have been vaccinated for this possible rare adverse event, as well as how to treat it. The Idaho Immunization Program notified Idaho providers this morning.

Almost 7 million (6,820,188) doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in the U.S. In Idaho, a total of 82,500 doses have been distributed, and as of 9:30 a.m. today, 30,673 doses had been administered.

The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. 

“We are monitoring it very closely until we learn more,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, an infectious disease physician and Idaho’s lead epidemiologist. “If you have a scheduled appointment to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please work with your vaccine provider to postpone your appointment until we learn more or consider getting a different vaccine. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have not had this issue reported, and we recommend that Idahoans continue with their appointments to receive these critical vaccines.” 

Some flu-like symptoms immediately after getting a vaccine is normal. But people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their doctor immediately.

Of the six reports in the United States, one person has died, and another is hospitalized in critical condition. All of the patients were women between 18 and 48 years of age. Symptoms occurred 6-13 days after vaccination. None have been reported in Idaho.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus Coverage
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