North Carolina pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at CDC, FDA urging

North Carolina pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at CDC, FDA urging

RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is pausing the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot Covid-19 vaccine based on the recommendation of the CDC and FDA.

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of all North Carolinians,” the NCDHHS stated in a news release. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are following the recommendations of the FDA and CDC and have paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until we learn more. The safety system in place is working as it should. If you have an appointment for Pfizer or Moderna, please go to your appointment as planned. If you have an appointment for Johnson & Johnson, your appointment will be re-scheduled.”

The recommendation was made after six women between the ages of 18-48 developed a rare type of blood clot 6-13 days after they received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. None of the women were from North Carolina.

As of Monday night, state health providers had administered approximately 242,000 doses of the vaccine in North Carolina with over 6.8 million doses having been given out in the United States.

“It’s important to note that the vast majority of the people who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will only experience the expected temporary reactions, like soreness of an arm or feeling achy or tired for a day or two,” Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the NCDHHS, said during a media briefing Tuesday afternoon.

Cohen said she experienced those minor symptoms after she received her dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

She said anyone experiencing more severe reactions like severe headaches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or leg pain, after getting the vaccine should get in touch with their healthcare provider.

“What we’re talking about is an incredibly rare, literally a 1 in a million adverse reaction,” Cohen said. “But we do want folks to know about it ... Covid-19 vaccines remain the most effective way to end this pandemic.”

Residents who had appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will instead be provided with a Pfizer of Moderna shot, N.C health leaders said.

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