Colorado Pauses Use Of Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine – CBS Denver
DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment paused the use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” on Tuesday. This comes in response to the joint announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and the FDA that they are pausing the use of the J&J vaccine, Janssen.
Federal officials recommended temporarily suspending the use of the vaccine after reports of 6 people in the U.S. who got rare and severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine. The federal government is allowing states to determine whether to pause use of the J&J vaccine. The CDPHE is “requiring providers to stop administration of the Janssen vaccine until additional information becomes available.”
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The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment announced a short time later that they will follow the CDPHE recommendations to pause the use of the J&J vaccine.
The CDPHE maintains that the adverse effects appear to be extremely rare. However, they did release this statement: Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine more than a month ago are at very low risk of serious side effects. Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine within the last three weeks and who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider. These symptoms are different from the flu-like symptoms people may experience after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Healthcare providers should report any adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
“In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given,” the FDA and CDC stated in a joint statement.
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The J&J vaccine makes up only a small portion of the COVID-19 vaccine allocation, with this week’s total 9,700 compared to nearly 280,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna that Colorado expects to receive this week.
Those scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine will either receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead. The state’s mobile vaccination buses, which have been administering only the Janssen vaccine, were canceled Tuesday and Wednesday.
Last week, a mass vaccination clinic at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City was paused because 11 people who received the J&J vaccine had adverse side effects. Two people were taken to the hospital and later released from the emergency department. Centura Health was administering the vaccine and paused the use of the Janssen vaccine at its drive-up vaccination clinics, instead only distributing the J&J vaccine at “ambulatory care and physician clinic settings.”
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The day after the incidents at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said those reactions experienced did not indicate problems with the vaccine.