The state is shipping no Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines to the Red River Valley a week after the one-dose vaccine dominated the allocations and amid a federal ‘pause’ 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. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow.
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation of the cases.
“Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said in a joint statement.
In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said it is “aware that thromboembolic events including those with thrombocytopenia have been reported with Covid-19 vaccines. At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen Covid-19 vaccine.” Janssen is the name of Johnson & Johnson’s division that developed the vaccine.
On Monday, the Paris-Lamar County Health District announced via Facebook that it would offer the J&J and Moderna vaccines at its vaccine clinic on Friday. On Tuesday, health district director Gina Prestridge said the J&J vaccine will be temporarily paused. The health district is the only entity receiving a vaccine allocation from the state this week, and that’s 500 Moderna doses. Moderna’s vaccine, like the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, requires two doses.
The only other entity in the Red River Valley to receive an allocation in the state’s 18th week of vaccine rollout is Texoma Medical Center in Bonham. The vaccine hub is slated to receive another 1,170 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.