Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Holyoke canceled for Tuesday after FDA, CDC concerns with vaccine reactions

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HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The scheduled COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Flats Community Building in Holyoke is canceled for April 13th after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC announced they are recommending a pause on using the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This decision comes after six people reported a rare and severe type of blood clot after receiving the vaccine. The FDA maintains this reaction is “extremely rare,” as nearly seven million people in the U.S. have received the J&J vaccine. All six cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48, with symptoms developing six to 13 days after they received the shot. None of the cases were in Massachusetts.

The clinic at 43 Canal Street, was hosted by the Behavioral Health Network.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we held off on administering any doses until we got the final word from DPH. At this point, we will have to hold off on scheduling any future clinics until we know what to do,” said Jessica Deflumer-Trapp from Behavioral Health Network.

The clinic was hoping to administer 400 doses of the vaccine, which they received through the state’s Vaccine Equity Imitative that targets the 20 most affected areas in the state by COVID-19.

Some people scheduled for a vaccine on Tuesday had to be turned away.

“I was kind of scared at first, so I’m kind of glad it got canceled,” said Niozotiz Suarez of Holyoke.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said “The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We share all adverse event reports about individuals receiving our COVID-19 vaccine, along with our assessment of these reports, with health authorities in compliance with regulatory standards.”

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