Oklahoma Pauses Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Following Federal Guidance
After six people were found to have blood clot-related side effects, federal health officials have recommended a pause on Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines.
Oklahoma health officials are following suit.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday morning that six people developed a very rare, but very serious, side effect after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The complication is rare — six cases in almost seven million recipients.
Officials said during a Tuesday media briefing that they are exercising an abundance of caution.
"The numbers are quite small. Small enough that it’s hard to generalize, but large enough that we wanted to take action with the pause," said Dr. Anne Schucat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One reason federal officials gave for the pause is to provide time for physicians to read up on the side effect — how to identify and treat it.
The State Department of Health and the health departments in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties have announced they will observe the pause. IMMY Labs, a private organization that’s conducted several mass vaccination sites, echoed the sentiment and said all appointments will instead use Pfizer vaccines for now.
But Oklahoma health officials say the pause on Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine won't hamper supply statewide.
During a media briefing Tuesday afternoon, Deputy Commissioner of Health Keith Reed said that Johnson & Johnson doses have accounted for less than three percent of those Oklahoma has administered total.
"We will have over 500,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine after next week’s allocation comes in — more than enough for any Oklahoman that needs the COVID-19 vaccine," Reed said.
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