TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A major weapon is out of action in the war against COVID 19. A few reports of blood clots have led the CDC---and the Pima Health Department to put a pause on using the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine. Here’s more on how Pima County plans to keep vaccinations on track---and what you need to know if you’ve had the J and J shot.
Researchers found six cases of serious blood clots in people who’d had the Janssen vaccine from Johnson and Johnson. All were in women younger than age 50. With the J and J vaccine already in wide use, that’s a rate of one in a million, compared to a one in one hundred risk of death if you come down with COVID.
But the Pima Health Department is following the CDC’s advice and putting a pause on Johnson and Johnson shots until there’s more research.
The move has no effect on Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. They are made very differently. Pima County is shifting shot clinics from Johnson and Johnson to Moderna.
Pima Health Logistics Chief Spencer Graves says the county will have to adjust to the fact the Moderna requires two shots while the Johnson and Johnson requires only one.
“What we really liked using the J and J for was the hard to reach populations that we might only get once. That was the real benefit of the J and J shot. So going back to using the Moderna is not an issue. We have used it in the past. We continue to use it, it will just require us to go back to the second dose and make sure that we contact all the patients beforehand so they can come back to the second shot.”
Graves says if you have a vaccination appointment it’s a good idea to call to see if it’s been changed but he says most vaccination appointments will not be affected because the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has mostly been used in no-appointment walk up clinics.
Pima County says it has had no reports of problems in almost 25 thousand doses of Johnson and Johnson given so far. But the county says see a doctor right away if you have any of these symptoms within three weeks of getting a Johnson and Johnson shot.
-shortness of breath