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PHMDC pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine citing CDC, FDA recommendation

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Mary Altaffer

FILE — In this March 31, 2021 file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson's one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts.

MADISON, Wis. — Public Health Madison & Dane County has temporarily paused its use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following six reported cases of a “rare and severe” type of blood clot in folks who received the vaccine.

The FDA and CDC recommended a temporary pause for the vaccine Tuesday morning. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered since it was approved for emergency use.

Public health officials said they plan to follow the recommendation “until further information is provided.”

“These adverse events appear to be extremely rare and are currently only documented in six cases out of about 7 million vaccines given, but the pause shows how seriously vaccine safety is taken,” officials said.

According to health officials, anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should monitor for the following symptoms for 3 weeks after receiving the vaccine: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing symptoms or health issues after vaccination should contact a health care provider.

Health experts said it’s important to note that the blood clots in question appear to be extremely rare.

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