Utah Dept. Of Health Recommends Pause On J&J COVID-19 Vaccine
Apr 13, 2021, 8:51 AM | Updated: 8:24 pm
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials with the Utah Department of Health are recommending providers temporarily pause administrating the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
The pause will allow the FDA to investigate reports of a “rare, treatable type of blood clots experienced by a small number” of recipients, officials said.
“Even though these cases have occurred in just one out of every 1 million people who have received the vaccine, and even though it will slow our efforts to vaccinate Utah residents against COVID-19, calling for this pause is the right thing to do,” said Rich Saunders, UDOH executive director. “It’s critical the public be confident in the COVID-19 vaccines, and in order to build and maintain that confidence reports like these must be taken seriously and fully investigated to determine what role, if any, the vaccine played.”
Nearly 77,000 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered in Utah with no reports of blood clots.
More than 1.8 million vaccine doses have been administered in Utah — the vast majority being Pfizer and Moderna shots, which are unaffected by the announcement.
The FDA and CDC released a joint statement Tuesday saying the six reports were under investigation. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
“The UDOH will coordinate closely with the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the coming days and will determine how to move forward based on those agency’s review of the situation,” officials said.
Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 response coordinator, said the pause will not have a significant impact on the country’s vaccination plan, as Johnson & Johnson vaccines represent just 5% of recorded shots in the U.S.
“Based on actions taken by the president earlier this year, the United States has secured enough Pfizer and Moderna doses for 300 million Americans,” Zients said in a statement. “Over the last few weeks, we have made available more than 25 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna each week, and in fact this week we will make available 28 million doses of these vaccines. This is more than enough supply to continue the current pace of vaccinations of 3 million shots per day, and meet the President’s goal of 200 million shots by his 100th day in office — and continue on to reach every adult who wants to be vaccinated. We are working now with our state and federal partners to get anyone scheduled for a J&J vaccine quickly rescheduled for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”