AUSTIN, Texas — The State of Texas is ordering all providers in the state to pause administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until they get further instruction from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This comes after a joint statement was released Tuesday morning from the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommending a “pause” of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
The CDC and FDA said they were investigating unusual clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48.
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects. According to state officials, none of the blood clot cases happened in Texas, where more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered.
Austin Public Health (APH) officials said in their weekly coronavirus briefing Tuesday they would pausing administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine per guidance from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
According to Texas' allotment of vaccines from DSHS, APH received 1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines last week. APH was not set to receive any Johnson & Johnson vaccines this week.
In Central Texas, these are the providers that were set to receive Johnson & Johnson vaccines on the 18th week of vaccine distribution:
- Seton Medical Center Austin, 1201 W. 38th St. (Travis County): 2,000 doses
- Crossover Health, 6300 Bee Caves Rd. (Travis County): 100 doses
- Guadalupe Zamora M.D., P.A., 2100 E. Sixth St. (Travis County): 100 doses
- Wellmed Pflugerville, 2700 W. Pecan St. (Travis County): 100 doses
- Ascension Seton Health Center Buda 5235 Overpass Road (Hays County): 100
- CVS Pharmacy, 220 S. FM 1626 (Hays County): 2,000 doses
- Texas State University Student Health Services (Hays County): 1,200 doses
- Jarrell Medical Clinic, 180 Town Center Blvd. (Williamson County): 100 doses
- Wellmed Leander, 601 Crystal Falls Parkway (Williamson County): 100 doses
- Hill Country Memorial Hospital 1020 S State Highway 16 (Gillespie County): 600 doses
- Fayette County Fairgrounds (La Grange): 2,000 doses
“I’d like to stress these events appear to be extremely rare. However, COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority,” FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a news conference.
A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.
J&J said in a statement it was aware of the reports of blood clots, but that no link to its vaccine had been established. The company also said it is delaying the rollout of its vaccine in Europe.
DSHS sent the following statement in light of the reports from the FDA and CDC:
"The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking vaccine providers in Texas to pause all administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine following today’s recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
The pause is recommended following reports of blood clots in six individuals 6 to 13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare and are being further evaluated to ensure vaccine safety. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
None of the cases of blood clots reported at this time have occurred in Texas, where more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered.
DSHS has not been notified of any change in vaccine distribution. Providers that have or receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should continue to store it in the proper conditions. Providers should report all adverse events following any vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System at vaers.hhs.gov.
DSHS will provide updates as they become available."
Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday afternoon:
"The State of Texas is working in tandem with the federal government and vaccine providers to temporarily pause all administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While no cases of blood clots have been reported in Texas, we are taking the reports of rare adverse effects seriously and are working to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines administered in our state continue to be safe and effective. I urge Texans who do experience adverse reactions, such as severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, to contact their health care providers or call 2-1-1 to receive a referral for a health care provider. Vaccines are a crucial tool to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and remain the most effective way to combat the virus in our communities. I continue to encourage Texans who wish to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to sign up."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING: