Johnson and Johnson no longer an available COVID vaccine for now, it’s impact on NCFL

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The FDA and CDC are now recommending to stop using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for now, as six women developed a rare blood clot soon after receiving the vaccine.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said that the state will suspend the use of the single dose vaccine and agencies in north central Florida are following suit.

On a zoom call Tuesday morning with national media outlets, representatives from the FDA and CDC answered questions about the usage of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“The real thing that is so notable here is not just the cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or the thrombocytopenia, those two things can occur, it’s that occurrence together that makes a pattern,” FDA’s Director of the Center for Biologics, Evaluation, and Research, Peters Marks said during the Zoom call.

“When we saw this pattern and were aware of that treatment, it was of the utmost importance for us to get the word out,” CDC Principal Deputy Director, Anne Schuchat added.

Related story: US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J shots in blow to vaccine drive

Gov. DeSantis said during a press conference in Manatee County Tuesday, that there have been no significant adverse effects on Floridians who received the ‘J and J’ vaccine.

“I got J and J, I think my arm was sore for 45 minutes and then that was that, so I think the track record in Florida has been good,” he said.

But the vaccine, he said, will be paused, and in north central Florida, officials said they are heeding the warning to stop using the ‘J and J’ vaccine.

“Yes, as of this morning we stopped using the Johnson and Johnson, just out of an abundance of caution following the CDC recommendation,” Heart of Florida Health Center’s Chief Medical Officer, Tabatha Downey said.

Downey said they’ve administered roughly 350 shots to inmates at the Marion County jail, close to 500 people out in the community, and so far there have no reports of adverse effects.

“We know that it’s rare. We know that the symptoms typically start about six and nine days after receiving the injection and so if any of our patients who received the vaccine Heart of Florida did develop symptoms, we would want them to go to the nearest ER and let them know when they had the vaccine and tell the of their symptoms,” she added.

Administrator for the Alachua County Health Department, Paul Myers, told TV20 that staff have administered 400 doses of J and J with no reports of adverse reactions other than a typical headache and sore arm.

They will store their remaining 600 doses until further information is received from the FDA.

He added that the Alachua-DOH was expected to administer 200 doses at an upcoming clinic, but now people with appointments will be contacted and offered the Pfizer vaccine.

With the Marion County Health Department, a vaccine event was also scheduled this week to administer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. That event will move forward but with the Pfizer vaccine instead.

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