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SIPH advises providers to follow federal pause of Johnson and Johnson vaccine

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Southeastern Idaho Public Health is advising health care providers around the area to follow the federal recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

SIPH will wait on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to review data about an extremely rare type of blood clot that has been reported in six people who received that vaccine in the United States.

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

“While we are not aware of any cases occurring among those who have received this vaccine in southeast Idaho, people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within the 3 weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider immediately,” said Southeastern Idaho Public Health Director Maggie Mann.

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S.

CDC will convene a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on April 14 to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates the cases.

“Until that process is complete, SIPH has advised a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution," Mann said. "While this issue appears to be extremely rare, CDC and FDA are acting in a very cautious manner that underscores our commitment to vaccine safety. We will be closely monitoring the federal review process and use that information to help guide our efforts here in southeast Idaho in the days ahead.”

Anyone who currently has an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should reach out to their provider to discuss rescheduling the appointment for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Online appointments can be made here.

For more information on the COVID vaccine, how to schedule an appointment, what to expect at your appointment, and vaccine safety and efficacy information, visit http://www.siphidaho.org/coronavirus.php.

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Cole Sams

Cole is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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