Pause in Johnson & Johnson shot affecting Tampa Bay vaccine sites

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is meeting to review several cases of rare and severe blood clotting reportedly found in people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The FEMA site at the Tampa Greyhound Track has paused its distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid concerns over the cases.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are investigating six reported cases of blood clots in women ranging in age from 18 to 48. One woman died and another is in critical condition. All six women experienced symptoms about six to 13 days after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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

The symptoms include severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath and typically occur within three weeks after vaccination. Those who experience these symptoms should tell their doctor.

Nearly 7 million Johnson & Johnson shots have already been administered. Scientists are scrambling to figure out whether the vaccine had any part in those blood clotes.

In Tampa Bay, several vaccination sites have shut down or made changes after the CDC’s report.

A number of pop-up clinics in Tampa have been closed until further notice.

And after hearing the news on Tuesday, the Bay Pines VA started administering the Moderna and Pfizer shots.

“I’m glad I got Pfizer. I didn’t even know about Johnson and Johnson until I got here, but I’m glad that I got a different one,” said Anita Griffin who received the vaccine at Bay Pines.

“Life’s uncertain. You never know what’s going to happen obviously, but like I said, with 7 million vaccines given out and let’s say, only six had an issue that’s still pretty good odds,” said Jay Balcerek.

The FEMA site at the Tampa Greyhound Track will only be giving out second dose shots of the Pfizer vaccine to those who got their first dose here.

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