San Diego County announces pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Virus Outbreak Vaccine
Posted at 9:15 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 19:11:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County has paused administering Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine doses after federal officials made the suggestion Tuesday.

The new guidance around the vaccine comes after reports of rare blood clots tied to the vaccine. The CDC reported that six women, ages 18 to 48, suffered a rare and severe type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) within two weeks of receiving the J&J vaccine.

According to the CDC, about 6.85 million doses of the vaccine have been given in the U.S.

“The health and safety of San Diego County residents is our number one priority, and, in an abundance of caution, we are pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while state and national authorities thoroughly investigate these reports,” said Wilma Wooten, county public health officer.

RELATED: Newsom: J&J vaccine pause won't affect California reopening

San Diego County has administered 57,892 doses of the vaccine, or about 2.8% of all county vaccinations thus far. The county has not reported any known severe adverse effects from the shot.

“The cases that prompted the pause appeared in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The fact that the six cases of a rare condition were identified after recent vaccination followed by a pause while further investigations occur is a sign that the system works,” Wooten said.

For those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last two weeks, local and federal health experts recommend watching out for symptoms, including severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. If those symptoms develop, patients should call their doctor and seek treatment.

For those who received the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk of any adverse reactions is "very low at this time," according to the county.

“San Diegans should continue to get vaccinated with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, which are now being used at the clinics that offered the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” Wooten said.