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DeSantis pauses Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Governor follows CDC recommendation

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Apr 13, 2021

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis said today the state has paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine based on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are respecting that decision. We are going to follow that recommendation and monitor what they are doing for the time being. What I think they are doing is out of an abundance of caution. I don’t think people should be worried who have already had it who haven’t had any effects. I think it’s going to be very effective for you,” DeSantis said in a press conference at the Piney Point Reservoir in Palmetto.

“We have not seen any significant effects with J&J here in Florida. I got J&J. I think my arm was sore for 45 minutes and then that that was that.”

DeSantis said he thinks the vaccine’s track record in Florida “has been good.”

DeSantis said there are many people at risk of blood clots from other medications and that the half dozen people who have reported blood clots out of millions to receive the shot is a “very small number. You have to balance how many people are alive today thanks to the J&J vaccine.”

DeSantis said the state still has a lot of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available.

In a joint statement by the CDC and Johnson & Johnson on Monday, stated “more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson 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 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.”