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Vaccinate NEPA: Vaccine eligibility widens as J&J vaccine supply is put on halt

Vaccinate NEPA

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Federal health officials are calling for a pause in the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine. That’s because there’s an investigation into a potential rare safety issue with it.

The pause on the J&J vaccine comes the same day Pennsylvania opened up the vaccine to all Pennsylvanians. State officials say while the announcement is challenging it shows the vaccine evaluation process is working.

As Pennsylvania opens up it’s vaccine eligibility to all Pennsylvanians 16 and older. The Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine is put on hold across the nation out an abundance of caution.

“The CDC and the FDA put this pause in place to review six incidents of rare blood clots that occured within 2 weeks of individuals receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine,” said acting secretary of health Alison Beam.

All six of the cases occured in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

“Preliminary information indicates that none of these six cases occurred in Pennsylvania however we are awaiting confirmation from the CDC,” said Beam.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health notified all COVID-19 vaccine providers to pause administering doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine until at least April 20 following the recommendation from the CDC and FDA.

This week Pennsylvania received 270,000 doses of vaccines. 20,000 of them Johnson & Johnson.

“We understand this announcement may be challenging for those who are looking to get vaccinated as well who already received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.”

Beam urges those with Pfizer or Moderna shots should keep their appointments.

If you were signed up for the J&J, get in touch with your provider.

“And if that providers able to reschedule with another Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, excellent! If not, they should actually find another appointment.”

And if you recently got the J&J vaccine, monitor for symptoms like headaches, abdominal pain and leg pain.

Johnson & Johnson released the following statement:

“At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Jansen COVID-19 vaccine. We continue to work closely with experts and regulators to assess the data.”

The acting FDA commissioner says the pause is expected to last a matter of days. While they do not have a definitive cause, one theory is it could be the result of an immune response.

An advisory committee to the CDC will meet Wednesday to review the cases.

If you received the J&J vaccine and have any health concerns, contact your health care provider.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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