SB County Department Of Health Ceases Use Of Johnson & Johnson Brand Vaccine

San Bernardino County and its Department of Health on Tuesday April 13 suspended use of Johnson & Johnson’s version of the COVID-19 vaccine following reports of what were said to be six “rare cases” of blood clotting in those inoculated with the prophylactic.
The discontinuation of the vaccine’s use is temporary, county officials said, and was being done in compliance with recommendations made by state and federal health agencies.
Health professionals downplayed the seriousness of the clotting reaction, pointing out that the six known manifestations of the problem were among more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine administered in the U.S.
The pause was issued in response to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. None of the six cases were in California.
Physicians with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control have just begun to analyze the incidence of clotting, and have not yet moved to the conclusion that the vaccine is flawed. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was given emergency FDA approval in February as part of a push to speed up vaccination efforts to arrest the progression of the year-long pandemic.
The clots that have been tracked are serious, occurring in places they are not known to lodge, in veins that drain blood from the brain, and in people with abnormally low levels of clot-forming platelets. The six cases created alarm among medical professionals in that six was at least three times the number of brain-drainage clots that would have been statistically likely to occur, according to the Centers for Disease Control’s Dr. Tom Shimabukuro.
“What we have here is a picture of clots forming in large vessels where we have low platelets,” Shimabukuro said. “This usually doesn’t happen.”
Of the six people inoculated who suffered the blood clots, one died and another is in serious condition.
The government said there are no signs of similar clots after vaccination with the Pfizer and Moderna shots that are the most plentiful vaccines available in the United States.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine accounts for 48,600, or 6.6 percent, of the 738,225 vaccine doses received in San Bernardino County. Pfizer accounts for 49.5 percent and Moderna 43.9 percent.
The county has 8,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine on hand. Those doses will be kept in storage pending further direction from the state and federal governments.
County-run vaccination clinics have primarily used the Pfizer vaccine. County-operated special vaccination events that had been scheduled to utilize the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have been switched to Pfizer. Second-dose appointments will be made when first doses are administered. Those who have appointments for those events are being notified. There are no plans to cancel events at this time.
“The county has no higher priority than the health and safety of our residents,” said Dr. Michael A. Sequeira, San Bernardino County Health Officer. “Although this condition is extremely rare among Johnson & Johnson recipients – much more rare than serious blood clots among those who contract COVID-19 – this pause is prudent pending further federal review.”
Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and who develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath should contact his or her health care provider, Sequeira said.
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines remain widely available in our county and have proven to be safe and effective,” Sequeira said. “The public should remain confident in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination effort.”

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