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U.S. Suggests ‘Pause’ On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Shots Over Clot Reports

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In this Thursday, April 8, 2021 file photo, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table at a pop up vaccinations site the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

UPDATED at 2 p.m. with information from the Illinois Department of Public Health and local health officials in east-central Illinois.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration says it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. The U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow.

Following recommendations from the FDA and CDC, the Illinois Department of Public Health is asking all vaccine providers in the state to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Health officials in Champaign, Vermilion, Macon, DeWitt and Piatt counties say the vaccine had been used in prior clinics across east-central Illinois, including ones in Farmer City and Clinton earlier this week.

C-U Public Health administrator Julie Pryde said in an email that a large clinic planned for next week has been canceled. The county will work to transition people to clinics offering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. A delay in overall vaccine distribution efforts is unlikely, she said, as Moderna and Pfizer make up the vast majority of doses in both the county and the state.

“CUPHD has requested all healthcare providers in Champaign County to pause the administration of the J&J vaccine until further notice,” Pryde said.

Federal health officials said in a media briefing Tuesday that the pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will allow time to evaluate the situation and educate health care providers on how to recognize, treat and report this extremely rare illness when it arises.

People who develop severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their health care provider.

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. We recommend checking the Coronavirus Information Center for the most recent numbers and guidance.

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