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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Halted in NY State as per CDC Recommendations

NY Governor Cuomo Announces Halt on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine in response to CDC Info

Today, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke from Angry Orchard Cider House in Walden, NY about a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

“…six people in the country out of 6.8 million who received the vaccine…had blood clots which are serious and they had serious headaches,” said the Governor.

This comes in response to the CDC’s press release calling for a pause on the application of the drug out of an abundance of caution due to six recipients having experienced blood clots (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis). All six cases were women between the ages of 18 and 48.

Thus far, 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been given out to people in the United States.

As per the press release, the anticoagulant drug heparin, usually used as a treatment for such blood clots, may actually aggravate a situation wherein someone has an adverse reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Governor stated that New York State has accordingly halted use of the drug.

The CDC’s statement as well as the transcript of the Governor’s words can be found below the following video.

CDC Press Release issued today, April 13, 2021:

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. 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). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be 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.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.

Governor Cuomo:

“They announced today that there was an issue on the J&J vaccines. There are three types of vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson is a vaccine I took. It has significant benefits because it’s one shot. The other vaccinations are two shots, so somebody such as myself, a little lazy, if I can get away with one shot, I’ll take the one shot rather than go for two shots.

They have put a pause federally on Johnson & Johnson because six people had an adverse reaction to Johnson & Johnson. I spoke to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky who is head of the CDC this morning about the situation. We have stopped using Johnson & Johnson in this state and we’re going to use Pfizer and Moderna in the meantime.

The situation with Johnson & Johnson is they had six people in the country out of 6.8 million who received the vaccine, so it’s roughly one person per million. All six happened to be women. They had blood clots which are serious and they had serious headaches.

The reason they paused the Johnson & Johnson is they want to make sure all health care providers know if a person comes in with these symptoms the normal medication is heparin that they give for a blood clot. That does not work in this situation, so they want to get the word out to all health care providers, if a person comes in, they said they had a vaccine, they have a serious headache, they diagnose a blood clot, you don’t use the normal medication, and they have a special protocol for this situation.

But context, it’s six people out of 6.8 million – happens to be six women who between days 6 and 13 developed headaches and the federal government I think wisely so said, let’s put a pause, let’s advise health care workers to be aware of this, and in the meantime we’ll use Pfizer and we’ll use Moderna, so we’re going to be doing the same thing here in New York and then when they finish doing their work on the Johnson & Johnson we’ll resume using Johnson & Johnson, but we do have enough Pfizer and we do have enough Moderna vaccination to keep our schedule and to keep those numbers happening.”

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