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Some Bay Area Counties Pause Use of Johnson and Johnson Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns

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On Tuesday, April 13, 2021, the White House COVID-19 Response team called for a pause in administration of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after six cases of rare and severe blood clots were discovered among the 6.85 million doses administered. (Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson)

A “rare and severe” blood clot condition, medically known as a thromboembolic event, has emerged in six people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S., prompting the federal government to call for a pause in its use until further the issue can be further investigated. 

The decision was made by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Health departments in Contra Costa and Marin counties announced Tuesday that county facilities will heed the warning and temporarily stop administering the J&J vaccine — San Francisco made a similar announcement.

Across the nation, about 6.85 million doses of J&J shots have been administered — the six blood clot cases represent “one in a a million,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci in a White House press briefing Tuesday morning. Also at the podium Tuesday was White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, who assured the public that even with the J&J pause, the U.S. remains on track to administer 3 million shots per day with doses of Pfizer and Moderna.   

Fauci explained that those effected have experienced symptoms between six and 13 days after the shot is administered, with headaches being most common. Additionally, people may experience shortness of breath, mild flu-like symptoms. leg swelling, stomach or chest pain, excessive bruising or very small blood spots under the skin at the site of the injection. 

Fauci said:

“Tell people to just watch out for not feeling very well.”

All six cases were women between the ages of 18 and 48. Of them, one woman has died and another is in critical condition.

According to Zients, the White House COVID-19 response team is “working now with our state and federal partners to get anyone scheduled for J&J vaccine quickly rescheduled for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”

The federal call to pause administration of J&J is not mandatory, instead the decision is being left to local governments and providers to determine.  

The investigatory period is expected to take a matter of days and findings will be quickly communicated once more information is available.

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Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Nik Wojcik - East Bay Editor

Journalist, editor, student, single mom to a pack of wolves, foodie, music lover, resident smart ass, and champion of vulgarity and human kindness.