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KITV: CDC, FDA recommend pause in use of J&J vaccine after cases of 'rare and severe' blood clot reported

April 13, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine after there were reports of six cases of a "rare and severe" blood clot.

The cases were among about 6.8 million Americans who received the single-shot vaccine. The CDC and FDA say all six cases were among women between ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

"Vaccination clinics that were scheduled to administer the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine may offer Moderna vaccine or reschedule today," the Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH) website reads.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the NIAI and Chief Medical Advisor to the President said in a press conference Tuesday that Johnson & Johnson will want to take a closer look at its vaccine.

"They want to see if there's any clues of other things going on," Fauci said. "Were there any underlying..... for example, a hypothetical, are they going to make a decision to go forward and say, if they find some kind of common denominators among the women who were involved, that might be synergizing and essentially enabling some sort of adverse event, they may know, for those that don't have that, it might be much safer."

Representatives for CVS (Longs Drugs) and Walgreens say both pharmacy chains will also stop giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for now.

“In Hawai'i, the J&J vaccine has been widely used in recent weeks due to the convenience of a single shot dose. If you have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, please contact your health care provider. Although these adverse events of blood clotting appear to be extremely rare, safety of the COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority for the federal government,” U.S. Congressman Kaiali'i Kahele (HI-02) said in a statement.