State pauses distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Published 11:46 am Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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By Zachary Seifter/ Staff Writer


The state of Alabama has temporarily paused Johnson & Johnson vaccinations as of April 13.

The decision came after the Food and Drug Administration strongly urged all states to temporarily pause the giving of all Johnson & Johnson vaccinations after six patients developed blood clots within two weeks of getting the vaccine. Nearly 7 million Americans have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a statement by Johnson & Johnson.

“COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for Alabama,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said. “It is important to know that the adverse effects potentially stemming from the Johnson & Johnson shot have been extremely rare in the country, but out of an abundance of caution, Alabama is temporarily pausing these shots until we know more. I commend Dr. [Scott] Harris for taking this swift step in our state so that we can continue moving forward, getting shots in the arms and putting COVID-19 behind us once and for all.”

The six patients that developed blood clots following the vaccine are all women between the ages of 18 and 48, according to a joint statement from the CDC and FDA.

Johnson & Johnson released the following statement on the FDA’s urge to pause the distribution of their vaccines:

“The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement released on its website. “We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases out of more than 6.8 million doses administered. Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have recommended a pause in the use of our vaccine … 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.”

Those that have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and have experienced effects like severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within weeks of receiving their vaccination should contact their health care provider.