COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Governor Mike DeWine and leaders with the Ohio Department of Health are advising all vaccine providers in the state to temporarily stop using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
It’s in response to recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control Tuesday after six people in the U.S. developed blood clots within two weeks of getting the vaccine.
All six of the patients were women between ages 18 and 48. The CDC and FDA are working to determine if the vaccine and blood clots are linked.
Dewine said the pause on the vaccine will be short.
“They describe it on the White House call this morning as days to weeks rather than weeks to months,” DeWine said.
The governor and top health officials stressed a few points in Tuesday’s briefing. One being how few severe reactions they’ve seen to the vaccine – just six cases in over 6 million vaccine recipients.
“These are truly rare events, important similar events, that have not been associated with the more than 180 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines administered in the U.S.,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, chief medical officer for the Ohio Department of Health.
They’re not exactly sure what caused that reaction in those six women, that is what is being studied during this pause of vaccine clinics.
“The fact that the CDC and the FDA have raised concerns and pushed the pause button on the bases of these six cases should give Ohioans great confidence in not only the priority that is being placed on vaccine safety but also the reliability and transparency of the CDC’s and FDA’s monitoring system,” Vanderhoff said.
But what if you’ve already received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last two weeks? Doctors say if that’s the case, monitor yourself for very severe symptoms.
“Look for a few signs and symptoms. Those would be headache, changes in vision, shortness of breath. If they have swelling or pain in their lower extremities, and if they are having consistent nausea and vomiting that doesn’t seem to go away,” said Columbus Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.
What doctors and the state do not want people to do is stop or hesitate getting a vaccine because of this pause. So, If you had a Johnson and Johnson vaccine scheduled, you should see if you can reschedule with a provider offering Moderna or Pfizer.
FDA and CDC leaders are expected to hold a media briefing later Tuesday.
Ohio health officials said they are following the situation closely.