County puts Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines on hold

Precautionary measure taken after 7 in 7 million patients suffer rare blood clots

By Wesley LeBlanc
Posted 4/21/21

By Wesley LeBlanc

wesley@opcfla.com

CLAY COUNTY – All Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been put on pause for further research after seven patients received rare blood clots after …

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County puts Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines on hold

Precautionary measure taken after 7 in 7 million patients suffer rare blood clots

Posted

By Wesley LeBlanc

wesley@opcfla.com

CLAY COUNTY – All Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines have been put on pause for further research after seven patients received rare blood clots after their vaccination.

While that sounds alarming – and for those seven patients it probably is – is there a cause for concern? If you’re someone who’s already received a Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and weeks have passed, the answer is no.

All seven cases occurred in exclusively women between the ages of 18 and 48 and the symptoms appeared roughly six to 13 days after the vaccination. Five people are in stable condition, one is in critical condition, and a sixth person, a 45-year-old woman in Virginia, has died. Statistically, the chances of this vaccine affecting you in this way are extremely slim – about six in 6.8 million, or in other words, 1 in 1.13 million.

Here are some other statistics that many face every single day. According to InjuryFacts.org, a not-for-profit site that tracks death-related statistics: someone on a bike has a 1-in-3,825 chance of dying. Someone in a car has a 1-in-107 chance of dying if they got into a wreck. There’s a 1-in-59,507 chance that a hornet, wasp, or bee sting will kill you. There’s even a 1-in-63,113 chance that a hot surface or substance will kill you.

The chances of being struck by lightning are 1-in-15,300, according to the official national government weather page. All of this is to say that the chances of this Johnson and Johnson vaccine affecting you are extremely slim.

The CDC and Federal Drug Administration paused the distribution of the vaccine, but not because they’re worried the vaccine will cause clots. It’s a precautionary study recommendation to re-examine the vaccine to determine how and why these clots happen, and if there’s further cause for concern.

“We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public,” Johnson and Johnson said in a statement.

The company said if someone develops a severe headache, leg pain, shortness of breath or abdominal pain they should contact their doctor, although Johnson and Johnson said these effects are “extremely rare.”

“It’s a very rare event,” Emory University School of Medicine executive associate dean Dr. Carlos del Rios told CNN Health. “You’re talking about one in a million, and when there are millions of doses, you will see events like this that you couldn’t see in the clinical trail just because you didn’t have millions of people enrolled.”

The vaccine has been paused in Clay County, which is unfortunate as the county’s health officials were relying on it to boost the county’s vaccination numbers. It’s currently about 44,000 vaccinated people away from hitting what’s needed for herd immunity.

“Since the announcement that the Johnson and Johnson was a thing and a single dose at that, we’ve had a high demand for it,” emergency management services director John Ward said. “We weren’t receiving any at first...and we were hearing that a lot of people were waiting for it...so our demand was high.”

Ward said the county finally received allocation for two vaccination sites to doll out 600 Johnson and Johnson vaccines. The first was to be at the Shiloh Church in Green Cove Springs on April 15, and the second was to be at the Keystone Heights First Baptist Church on April 19. With the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on pause, vaccinations at those sites are on hold, too.

Professionals expect the vaccine to be available again sooner, rather than later, but for now, the medical community and those wanting that vaccine are waiting to hear the results of the FDC and CDC’s re-examination.

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