Colorado pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine following announcement of FDA, CDC probe

COVID-19 Vaccine
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DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Joint Vaccine Task Force announced Tuesday that in response to the CDC and FDA announcement, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be put on pause in our state.

The FDA said on Tuesday that six people in the U.S. who received the vaccine had a rare and severe type of blood clot. One person has died from the blood clot. Another person is in the hospital in critical condition.

Governor Jared Polis will provide an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. You can stream it on FOX31 Now.

CDPHE said that anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine within the last three weeks and who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider. These symptoms are different from the flu-like symptoms people may experience after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine makes up only a small portion of Colorado’s weekly vaccine allocation. This week, for example, the state’s Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) allocation is 9,700, compared to nearly 280,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna the state expects to receive this week. Most vaccine clinics will not be significantly affected, according to CDPHE.

If you are scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine, CDPHE said you will either receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead, or the vaccine provider will contact them to reschedule their appointment once FDA and CDC release additional information. 

CDPHE said any providers who already have a Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine supply should keep it and continue to maintain proper storage

The CDC said its advisory committee on immunization practices will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday to further review the cases and assess their potential significance, and the FDA will continue to investigate.

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