The vaccine has been linked to blood clots.
Frederick, Md (KM) A community clinic planned for this week in the Emmitsburg area has been canceled due to concerns about the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. “We had scheduled to have some community clinics throughout this week. And we planned to use the Johnson and Johnson or Janssen vaccine for those because it’s a little easier for pop up clinics if we don’t have to go back,” says Rissah Watkins, spokeswoman for the Frederick County Health Department.
But due to concerns raised about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, Watkins says those clinics have been canceled. She says the Department hopes to rescheduled those clinics in the future.
On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended a :”pause” on the use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Both agencies cited concerns about blood clots in the veins which drain blood from the brain. All six of these cases were in women between the ages of 18 to 48. There has been one death, and all of these cases remain under investigation.
Following recommendations from these two federal agencies, the Maryland Department of Health is directing all vaccine providers to also put a “pause” on the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. But providers should maintain their supplies of the Jannsen vaccine in a way that prevents the vaccines from spoiling.
Watkins says the Frederick County Health Department doesn’t use the Johnson and Johnson vaccine at any of its large clinics, such as the one being held at Frederick Community College. “The majority of the vaccine that the Frederick County Health Department has received is Moderna,” she says. “Though we have several thousand doses of Moderna to give and first doses this week, and only a couple hundred doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.”
She says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is used for the small community clinics, like the ones scheduled in Emmitsburg this week, and the homebound vaccinations because it is a one-dose vaccine. Moderna is a two-dose vaccine.
Patients who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and develops symptoms such as severe headaches, leg pains and shortness of breath should contact their heath care provider as soon as possible. “The health care providers are aware of this new change, and they’re asked to report any adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System so that the CDC and FDA are aware of any type of reactions like that, and can use that information to make good decisions going forward,” says Watkins.
By Kevin McManus