CDC and FDA pause Johnson and Johnson vaccine after rare blood clots


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Federal health officials are calling for a pause of Johnson and Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine while an investigation into a potential rare safety issue is underway.

However, those who have received the vaccine should not panic, as out of the nearly 7 million people who have received the vaccine, less than 10 of those people have experienced an issue.

The CDC and FDA are investigating blood clots in six women that occurred between six and 13 days after they received the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The women were between the ages of 18 and 48.

All Massachusetts providers have been asked to pause administration of the vaccine. Dr. Armando Paez, chief division of infectious diseases at Baystate Medical Center said although it’s something to watch, it’s not time to pull out the red flag.

“I just want to emphasize that this is a rare event, but it affects a certain group of people based, so until further notice I think we should pause and think about these cases,” Dr. Paez said.

Health authorities say if you develop and severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of getting the shot, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Heparin, commonly used to treat blood clots is now being called “dangerous” for people suffering from these clots caused by the vaccine.

“There have been reports of antibodies to the platelet factor for antibodies and it may be related to similar to the Heparin induced thrombocytopenia a kind of similar disorder related to Heparin use,” Dr. Paez said.

No one in Massachusetts has been affected. And out of that small group of people impacted one died and another was in serious condition but has improved.

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