Days After Sununu Gets Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine, US Recommends Pause on Its Distribution
The CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after six reports of a rare and severe blood clot in individuals, all women, after receiving it.
The Janssen vaccine was distributed by the state at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday and at three mall locations including the Mall at Fox Run. Gov. Chris Sununu took the vaccine on Saturday.
The CDC and FDA recommends a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the cases are reviewed further. The state of New Hampshire put a pause on the its use Tuesday morning but Sununu was confident it would only be temporary.
"This news will not slow down New Hampshire,” Sununu said in a statement. “While the federal government has directed a brief pause in the J&J vaccine, the state is already working with our partners to ensure that they have an alternative supply of Pfizer or Moderna to help continue their efforts today."
Massachusetts and Maine have both implemented similar pauses.
According to the CDC more than 6.8 million doses have been given in the United States with six reports of a blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48 and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
The state reports 304,499 residents, or 22.4% of the population, have been fully vaccinated. The state's dashboard does not breakdown the vaccine by brand name.
Usually an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given, according to the CDC.
The CDC said that people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
Three COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for use in the United States. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses but Johnson & Johnson requires only one.