HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health is extending its pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until April 24 or until updated guidance is provided by the CDC.
On April 13, the DOH planned to pause the vaccine until April 20. They decided to extend the pause April 15.
This comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recommended the U.S. out of an abundance of caution pause the use of the single-dose vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
The CDC is convening an emergency meeting tomorrow of the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices to further review cases for any details on the significance of this rare occurrence.
“While this announcement is challenging, it highlights the vaccine evaluation process,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “The CDC and the FDA are closely monitoring vaccines for safety and effectiveness, and if there is a cause for concern, they will take action because safety is paramount. This protocol should give all Pennsylvanians confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, and individuals should proceed with getting vaccinated as soon as possible to fight the virus, particularly as our case counts rise.”
These six cases occurred in women between 18 and 48 who were among the 6.8 million Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. Individuals who have appointments scheduled to receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination should keep those appointments.
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Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and have any health concerns or develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of their vaccination is urged to contact your health care provider.
For more information, find the CDC/FDA guidance online here.