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Local health experts adjust after FDA, CDC recommend pause in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Posted at 10:55 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 23:55:17-04

The FDA and CDC Tuesday recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine "out of an abundance of caution."

“They really wanted to stop and understand what was happening and to make sure they have a plan in place to treat people that have the clotting adverse reactions,” explained Amy Mersiovsky, Department of Nursing Director and Chair at Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

The recommendations came after reports that six women developed "rare and severe" blood clots after receiving the vaccine. Medical experts say it could be due to a number of reasons.

“They have to look at similarities. They may have to look at some genetic issues, did they have some other type of clotting problem,” said Mersiovsky.

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District received the J&J vaccine for the first time last week and administered 954 doses. Officials say no one in Central Texas has reached out to them about experiencing side effects from it.

"We are not offering the vaccine. We're just holding it and waiting for further information," said Kelly Craine with the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District.

It’s important to note more than seven million doses have been administered across the country and so far, there are only these six instances of clots.

“If you have continuous headaches, leg pains or other serious side effects, even after three weeks, please contact your physician. If you are concerned, please contact your physician,” said Craine.

Local health officials say the pause will impact vaccinations in the area, but they plan to use more of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to fill the void.