OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) announced Tuesday that the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be paused.
The announcement comes after the FDA and CDC recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning out of an abundance of caution and until more investigation is completed.
The FDA tweeted that it was suggesting a pause after learning that six people developed "rare and severe" blood clots after getting the vaccine.
As of 4/12, 6.8m+ doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare— U.S. FDA (@US_FDA) April 13, 2021
On April 8, DHHS along with the Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) and Nebraska Medicine consulted with the FDA and CDC about a blood clot diagnosed in a Nebraska resident.
DHHS said vaccine safety is closely monitored and only six instances of severe clotting have been identified among nearly 6.8 million who have received the J&J vaccine, adding that "the pause is a transparent and deliberate decision to allow time for a thorough review and investigation."
DHHS is in touch with local health departments, healthcare providers and pharmacies across the state about pausing the use of the J&J vaccine. Any potential adverse reactions to vaccines should be reported to the CDC here.
There are currently no recommendations to pause the use of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, DHHS said. The two vaccines should be provided in place of the J&J vaccine for now.
See the full press release from the FDA and CDC here.
Medical experts are saying that the risk of blood clots remains very low.
"This does appear to be a very rare event associated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine," University of Nebraska Medical Center infectious diseases expert Dr. Mark Rupp said.
Dr. Angela Rasmussen with Georgetown Global Health Science & Security sent out a tweet with statistics about blood clot risks in oral contraceptives as well as the risks if a patient contracts COVID-19.
For perspective, here are some numbers:— Dr. Angela Rasmussen (@angie_rasmussen) April 13, 2021
1 in 1,000,000: J&J vaccine
1 in 3,000: oral contraceptives
1 in 5: hospitalized COVID-19 patients
As someone who got the J&J vaccine 8 days ago, and who took oral contraceptives for 20 years, I’ll take these odds.
The Douglas County Health Department said they will be reaching out to community partners to make sure they know the information that came out regarding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
More information from DCHD is expected later Tuesday.