LOUISIANA - The CDC and FDA issued a statement today calling for a pause on the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after six reported cases of people developing a rare and severe blood clot after receiving the vaccine.
"The FDA still doesn’t know yet if these clots would have occurred in these individuals anyway or is there in fact a link to the vaccine," said Regional Medical Director Dr. Tina Stefanski.
The six reported cases happened with women between the ages of 18 and 48, six to 13 days after receiving the vaccine. Stefanski says Louisiana is going to adhere to the new recommendations.
"The state of Louisiana is halting its use, they’re putting a pause on the use of J and J until the data can be looked into and until we get more information and guidance from the FDA and CDC," she said.
While these six cases are extremely rare, she recommends anyone who may have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to monitor their health. "So severe headache, shortness of breath, leg pain, abdominal pain, notify your healthcare provider. Especially if those symptoms occur within six to thirteen days of vaccination," Stefanski said.
For one woman who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine about a month ago, she says given the extreme rarity of these blood clots, she isn’t worried.
"If it was a larger percentage of women that were having these reactions, I would be a little more uneasy. But right now I feel fine and if a larger number does come out from the CDC, then I will go to the doctor and get checked up but right now, I’m okay," said Dani Templet.
With more than enough doses of the Pfizer and Moderna shots to meet demand, Stefanski urges people to not wait around for the single-dose shot to return.
"We’ve been giving Moderna and Pfizer for weeks, since the end of last year, November, December. Those are safe and effective vaccines so we want people to know that it is still our best way to prevent Covid infection," said Stefanski.
Governor Edwards also issued a statement reading “Today’s pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is out of an abundance of caution...While I understand that this news may be concerning, I remain committed to working alongside public health experts to make sure people can get the answers they need to make an informed decision.” For his full statement, you can read here.