OHA: Longer vaccine wait times due to J&J pause

Coronavirus

CDC and the FDA working to determine if there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Both the Oregon Health Authority and Washington State Department of Health have ordered all vaccine clinics to stop the use of Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccines.

Dr. Paul Cieslak with OHA said people are going to have to wait longer to be vaccinated.

“But we’re doing what we can to make up the difference,” he said.

These orders come shortly after it was announced that U.S. government-run vaccine sites are expected to stop offering the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, due to multiple women developing blood clots. One woman reportedly died from a possibly vaccine-related clot while another is in critical condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are working to determine if there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.

“I hope what people take away from this is our safety monitoring system is working and in place and that we can find even really rare events that cause enough concern to pause,” said Clark County Deputy Health Officer Dr. Stephen Krager.

The OHA released the following statement on Tuesday morning:

“Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has asked all of the state’s vaccine providers to immediately stop administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, per the announcement from the U.S. CDC and FDA this morning. This is out of an abundance of caution as they review six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women ages 18-48 after vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

More information from the OHA regarding the vaccine is forthcoming.

Washington’s DOH released a statement, as well. It said, in part:

“The Washington State Department of Health will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine statewide starting immediately, following the guidance of the FDA/CDC. Use of that vaccine will be put on hold until we receive further recommendations from our federal partners about how best to move forward. Safety is the highest priority when it comes to all COVID-19 vaccines.”

About 149,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Washington so far, out of more than 4 million doses total. 

According to a Safeway representative, their patients who have an appointment scheduled for the Janssen vaccine will be notified that their appointment has been canceled, and they will be directed to a link to reschedule for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

They say they will add appointments to our online scheduler as doses become available.

Like other states, Oregon had already seen a significant drop in shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The company backed off its initial pledge to send out 24 million additional doses nationwide by the end of April after workers at a Baltimore manufacturing company had to trash a batch of vaccines after using the wrong ingredients to make them.

Oregon has already received 61,000 Johnson & Johnson doses. This week, the state is only getting 7,300 doses and 2,000 doses next week.

COVID-19 Data in the PNW

This is a developing story. KOIN 6 News will continue to provide updates when new information is available.

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