Harris County will suspend the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at distribution facilities in the county following a national appeal.
Harris County judge Lina Hidalgo tweeted April 13 that residents scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at NRG Park today will be offered the Pfizer vaccine instead.
This is because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended that Johnson & Johnson vaccinations be stopped after six American women developed blood clots after the injections.
These clots have been seen along with reduced platelet counts – which makes the usual blood clot treatment, blood-thinning heparin, potentially “dangerous” according to a joint CDC and FDA statement. One woman died and another was hospitalized. The women were between 18 and 48 years old; Symptoms presented within 13 days.
The Houston Department of Health announced April 13 that it would suspend distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, reports CultureMap’s news partner ABC13. No word yet as to whether the break in distribution would affect planned appointments.
What is important is that those who receive vaccines in mobile locations continue to receive the Moderna vaccine, ABC13 notes.
Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and experience adverse symptoms should see their doctor immediately, according to the CDC.
In the United States, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered, the vast majority with no or minor side effects. The CDC will meet on April 14 to discuss the cases, and the FDA has also started an investigation into the cause of the clots, ABC 13 adds.
At the national level, the hiatus will undoubtedly affect mass vaccination efforts. Time will tell how Houston will fare when the US only offers two vaccination options for now.