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Ohio Advises Pause on Johnson and Johnson Vaccine As Feds Review 'Extremely Rare' Blood Clot Cases

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine
OSU Wexner Medical Center
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine offered the convenience of requiring just one dose.

Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health are advising all COVID-19 vaccine providers to temporarily pause the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as federal officials review six "extremely rare" cases of severe blood clotting. The U.S. has administered 6.8 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The CDC plans to hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to review the six cases.

Government health officials are recommending a "pause" in vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. We're answering your questions as we learn more.

In a joint statement from the CDC and FDA, officials said the call to temporarily pause the use of the vaccine is out of an "abundance of caution."

"In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia)," the statement said.

The six cases are all women between the ages of 18 and 48 with symptoms happening six to 13 days after receiving the vaccination. Officials also say treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different than what might be typically administered.

"Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given," the joint CDC-FDA statement said.

A statement from DeWine's office said officials with the Ohio Department of Health are following this situation closely.

Clinics in Ohio that scheduled people for the Johnson and Johnson shot are reportedly switching over to the other vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer.

DeWine had announced that vaccine clinics were set to begin this week to administer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for college students. Both Kent State University and the University of Akron have announced a pause in clinics where the J&J vaccine was to be administered.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.