AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Six cases of people developing a severe type of blood clots after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has prompted the CDC and FDA to call for a pause on the vaccine’s distribution.
In the U.S there have been 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine administered. In Texas around 500 thousand people have received it, none of whom are among the six cases reported.
WT said they have halted their clinic and have administered fewer than 500 shots. The VA will also pause J&J distribution and will instead offer the Moderna vaccine.
Walgreens, CVS and United Pharmacies have cancelled the appointments previously made and are instead offering either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
Given the small number of cases so far, doctors say this halt is out of an abundance of precaution.
“You don’t have to lay in bed feeling like you have a time bomb ticking inside you, because it is very unlikely you will have anything other than a nice level of protection against COVID,” said Dr. Rodney Young, M.D., regional chair of Family and Community at Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
When compared to the total doses administered, the data shows the risk of getting such a blood clot is less than one in a million.
The cases reported are all among women between the ages of 18 and 48 and the symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
The particular clot reported occurs in the head.
People might have symptoms like a really severe headache, numbness, or blurry vision.
If it forms in other parts of the body, people might have a swollen leg, abdominal pain or shortness of breath. If so, then Dr. Young says you should seek medical attention.
In a statement, Governor Abbott said Texans can call 211 if they have any of these symptoms and they will refer them to a health care provider. He continues to encourage Texans who wish to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, to sign up.
Although these cases are extremely rare, this pause could hurt vaccine hesitancy.
“So, even though there will be a lot of concern, people should take comfort in knowing that this was detected relatively early in the roll out and that they were brave enough to say let’s put a pause on this,” said Dr. Young.
The CDC will meet tomorrow to further review these cases but, there is no timeline set for how long this pause will last.
In the meantime, providers are storing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine already allotted.