County pauses use of J&J vaccine

In this March 31 photo, a nurse fills a syringe with Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. U.S. health regulators on Tuesday, April 13, is recommending a “pause” in using the vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo)

LISBON — With concerns growing about rare blood clots possibly connected to the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the coronavirus, the local county health department has canceled using the vaccine this week.

Laura Fauss, public information officer for the county health department, said on Tuesday the department had five people scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday. The health department has contacted them and offered for them to receive Moderna instead.

Since the J&J vaccine first came to the county in March, the health department has administered 300 doses of it and Fauss reports there were no serious reactions reported.

However, she said those who have received it who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving it should contact their doctor. That guidance is from a statement by both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), according to Fauss.

The change has come on the same day Gov. Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud and the Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., requested all Ohio vaccine providers should temporarily pause using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The pause came after the FDA and CDC recommended it so the CDC can review the six cases of people in the U.S., who developed rare blood-clotting symptoms after each reportedly received a dose of the J&J vaccine. According to the CDC, about 8.6 million doses of Johnson & Johnson have been delivered throughout the country and more than four million have been used by patients.

At this point, 30,349 Columbiana County residents have received at least one dose of one of the three vaccines, while 21,774 have completed the doses needed for the vaccine they are receiving. Moderna is the vaccine most prevalent with the county health department.

Columbiana County has had 8,507 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic with 476 hospitalized and 225 county residents have had their deaths linked to the disease. That is an increase of 40 new cases since Friday and one additional hospitalization. No new deaths have been reported.



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