Florida follows CDC and FDA recommendation, pauses Johnson and Johnson vaccine


An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will follow recommendations from federal authorities and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a few women experienced blood clots.

“We’re respecting that decision, we’re going to follow that recommendation and monitor what they’re doing for the time being,” Gov. DeSantis said.

Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have recommended the hold of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine after it was linked to rare blood clots in female recipients. According to the CDC, six women between the ages of 18 and 48 experienced blood clots. One woman died and a second woman was hospitalized in critical condition.

Both state and federally-run sites will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not affected by the pause.

Bay Pines Healthcare System had to change their community vaccine clinic at Daystar Life Center from offering the one dose J&J vaccine to offering Pfizer.

“I’m glad I got the Pfizer vaccine. I didn’t even know about the Johnson and Johnson issue until I got here. But I am glad I got a different one,” said Anita Griffin, who received her first vaccine dose at the Bay Pines VA community clinic.

Vaccine sites that are operated by Department of Health in Pinellas County are using the Pfizer vaccine, so none of those sites have been impacted.

Nearly 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States with most people reporting no or mild side effects.

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