Missouri, St. Louis County pause use of J&J vaccines

The states recommended by the CDC and FDA have suspended further use of the single-dose vaccine while researchers investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots

ST. LOUIS – The state of Missouri and several county health departments will discontinue use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine on the recommendation of the CDC and FDA Tuesday morning.

Federal agencies recommended states stop further use of the single-dose vaccine while researchers investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. The CDC and FDA have known six women who developed blood clots 6 to 13 days after vaccination. In the United States, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered, the vast majority with no or minor side effects.

Missouri health officials said they would follow the federal recommendation and suspend administration of the vaccine immediately until further notice.

“With great caution and in accordance with federal guidelines, we are suspending vaccination with Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine until further notice in Missouri,” said Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services. “We anticipate that we will have more information shortly to make further decisions about the overall distribution of the vaccine in light of this new development and we will continue to keep citizens who have received the J&J vaccine updated Bring the status after the advisory committee meets tomorrow at the federal level. “

The state recommended that those who received the J&J vaccine and developed a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of the shot, call their doctor. Anyone with other clinical questions can also call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 877-435-8411.

The St. Louis County Department of Health also announced that use of the vaccine will be discontinued and will switch to Pfizer for any appointments scheduled to use the J&J version.

The county health department has administered more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines. 1,739 of them were J&J, a health ministry spokesman confirmed.

The health departments in St. Clair County, Illinois and Pike County, Missouri also confirmed that they are discontinuing use of the J&J vaccine pending investigation by federal health officials. Pike County said it planned to use the J&J vaccine Tuesday, but those with appointments can get the Moderna shot instead if they wish.

A vaccination clinic scheduled for Tuesday at Saint Louis University will switch to using the Moderna vaccine instead, which the college says could make things more difficult for students who may not be on campus when the second dose is needed.

“We know many of you were eager to get the ‘one-and-done’ shot, and we understand that this complicates your plans. This is especially important for our students who aren’t planning to be in 28 days Being on campus The second dose. We still believe vaccination is vital to our community in order to protect our campus and help us have a more normal college experience, “the SLU said in a statement, offering Options on how students can get a second dose vaccination.

5 On Your Side has contacted several other local health departments and vaccine providers. We’ll update this story as soon as we get more information.

In a joint statement released Tuesday morning, the CDC and FDA said the blood clots in the sinuses of the brain were seen along with reduced platelet counts – making the usual blood clot treatment, blood-thinning heparin, potentially “dangerous”.

“Right now, these adverse events seem extremely rare,” the FDA said in its statement. “This is important to ensure that the healthcare provider community is aware of the potential of these adverse events and can plan based on the unique treatment that is required for this type of blood clot.”

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Wednesday to consider the cases. The FDA has also launched an investigation into the cause of the clot and low platelet count.

“As a precaution, we recommend that you take a break from using this vaccine until this process is complete,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the CDC, and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a joint statement.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will not be affected by this hiatus.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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