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Congressman Kahele Statement on the CDC & FDA's Call for Pause on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

April 13, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. Congressman Kaialiʻi Kahele (HI-02) issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine following reports of six cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot.

“My staff and I are closely monitoring reports that six recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the United States have developed cases of a ‘rare and severe’ type of blood clot. As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the United States. Although six reported cases out of 6.8 million vaccine recipients represents an extremely small number, until we have more information, I fully support the CDC and FDA’s decision to put the J&J vaccine on pause out of an abundance of caution,” said Kahele

“In Hawaiʻi, 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.” Kahele added.

“Confidence in the vaccine is built on having a system that transparently addresses adverse events seriously, investigates them, and enacts data-driven decisions—which is exactly what our federal agencies are doing right now.”