Breathitt Health Department Suspends Administering Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Federal Agencies report 'extremely rare' blood clots

Some 6.8 million have received the vaccine in the United States. 

Of these, six (6) have experienced the clot, the FDA and CDC claim.

‘I know of no side effects from J&J locally,’ William Sizemore, Breathitt Health Department 

According to a story first reported by The New York Times, federal health agencies have recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a small number of people experienced “a rare and severe type of blood clot” after receiving the shot. We talked to Breathitt Health Department’s William Sizemore, early Tuesday morning, about the breaking news development. 

Sizemore told the Times-Voice, “I heard about [the clot situation with the J&J vaccine] only this morning. The incident led to 15-million doses being disqualified for use." 

Sizemore went on to explain, "Out of 6.8 million doses of J&J given nationally to date, it is my understanding that six (6) women, between the ages of 18 and 48, were diagnosed with (CVST) blood clots. It has been reported to us this occurred 6-13 days after vaccination. We believe this is what kept us from getting as many doses of the one-shot vaccine as we were expecting.”  Sizemore also told the newspaper, “I know of no side effects from the J&J locally.” 

For its part, Federal Health Agencies have recommended pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have issued a joint statement. The statement, in substantive detail for our purposes, is they're “recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.”

The New York Times' report collaborates Mr. Sizemore's information about the 6.8-million people receiving the single-shot vaccine in the United States to date. That there were six (6) have experienced the clot seems equally supported by the New York newspaper's information. “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” according to the federal agencies involved. 

Johnson & Johnson has also released a statement about its vaccine. It reports being aware that blood clots have been reported with some COVID-19 vaccines, but that “no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events" and its shot. "We continue to work closely with experts and regulators to assess the data and support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public," it said.

The CDC will convene Wednesday a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides guidance on vaccines. It reports that committee would "further review these cases and assess their potential significance," while the FDA would also investigate. "Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause," the joint statement said.

Note: Mr. Long is an award-winning Kentucky journalist recognized for excellence in both writing and reporting by the Kentucky Press Association.

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