The FDA and CDC issued a joint statement in support of pausing the distribution and administering the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, but not until after 244,000 New Jersey residents received it.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said there’s no reason to panic or worry about the news.
“Our decision to temporarily pause the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine [is] upon the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration, pending further investigation into six reported incidences of severe blood clots following vaccinations,” Murphy said. “Now, for sure, these six cases each appear to be extremely rare and serious as there had been nearly seven million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered nationwide.”
Of the nearly 7 million doses administered so far in the United States, a small number of cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot have been reported in people after receiving the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, the CDC said.
“The use of this vaccine is ‘paused’ for now. This is because the safety systems that make sure vaccines are safe received a small number of reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot happening in people who got this vaccine,” the CDC said in a statement. “We do not know enough yet to say if the vaccine is related to or caused this health issue. To be extra careful, CDC and FDA recommend that the vaccine not be given until we learn more.”
The CDC said the following side effects were found in the J&J vaccine:
- severe headache,
- new neurologic symptoms,
- severe abdominal pain,
- shortness of breath,
- leg swelling,
- tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae), or
- new or easy bruising
“In New Jersey, where we had administered just over 244,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prior to hitting pause, no similar adverse effects have been reported,” the Governor said. “Even with this pause, our overall goal of vaccinating 4.7 million adult New Jerseyans by the end of June remains not only in place, but entirely achievable. As of today, doses of Johnson & Johnson have accounted for only about 4%, Judy, of the more than 5.6 million total vaccine doses we have administered. I want to repeat that no one who has received this vaccine should panic or worry.”
This pause also has no effect on Monday’s opening vaccine eligibility to all New Jerseyans age 16 and over.
“We will keep pushing forward with the tools available to us,” Murphy added.
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