Virginia pausing all J&J vaccinations until investigation into blood clot reports is complete

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/AP) — Virginia’s Vaccination Coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said the state is pausing all administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We are closely monitoring the actions by the federal government to pause all Johnson & Johnson vaccinations while it investigates an extremely rare possible side effect,” Dr. Avula said in a statement Tuesday morning.

In a joint statement Tuesday, 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 clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

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.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam tweeted saying that the state is following new guidance from the federal government.

According to Dr. Avula, if you have an upcoming appointment for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will be contacted to reschedule your appointment.

The City of Petersburg and the Chickahominy Health District scheduled COVID-19 vaccination events this week using Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The events will go on as planned but eligible residents can expect to receive the Moderna vaccine.

The following J&J vaccination clinics are scheduled in our area:

  • Petersburg vaccination event at Tabernacle Baptist Church on Tuesday, April 13
  • Chickahominy Health District event at Ashland Junction clinic on Tuesday, April 13
  • New Kent County vaccination clinic at New Kent High School on Friday, April 16

In the meantime, Virginia’s vaccine rollout will continue with two other authorized vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna.

U.S. health authorities are recommending that people who were given the J&J vaccine who are experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the shot contact their health care provider.

Johnson & Johnson says it is delaying the rollout of its coronavirus vaccine in Europe amid a U.S. probe into rare blood clots.

“We have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities,” the company said. “We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe.”

Hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine were due to be shipped to Europe in the coming weeks.

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