COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A federal decision to pause giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is having fallout in Ohio.
Shortly after the FDA recommended pausing the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday morning, Gov. Mike DeWine said he and state health officials are advising providers to follow the recommendation. The vaccine has been linked to blood clots in some recipients.
Clinics offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were already scheduled around the state, including in central Ohio and Columbus.
Changes for J&J vaccination clinics
- Giant Eagle had a Johnson & Johnson clinic scheduled for its Grandview Yard location. A representative said patients with appointments will be notified of the chance to receive the Moderna vaccine instead.
- In its clinic at the Celeste Center, Columbus Public Health will only be offering the Pfizer vaccine. Normally the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is offered on Tuesdays. It is asking those who wish to cancel their appointment to call 614-645-1519.
- Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center is putting an immediate hold on all Johnson & Johnson appointments. None was scheduled for Tuesday. Officials said they will make decisions about giving the vaccine in the future based on additional guidance from the CDC and FDA.
In addition, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was being used in the state’s efforts to vaccinate college students through on-campus clinics and also at mass vaccination clinics. A post to Twitter from DeWine’s official account on Tuesday afternoon broke down which clinics would switch to Pfizer or Moderna and which would be paused.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, medical director for OhioHealth, told NBC4 that people who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and did fine should have nothing to worry about. He said people who get clots typically get sick within 3-5 days and that this news has no effect on the efficacy of the vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was a single-shot option for protection against COVID-19, in comparison with the two-shot options from Pfizer and Moderna that required a second appointment weeks after the first to achieve the greatest immunity.
The FDA announced the pause after extremely rare blood-clotting events in six women ranging in age from 18 to 48. That’s out of 6.8 million shots administered in the U.S. Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, expected the pause to only last a matter of days.
White House officials said that with 28 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available to states this week that the pause should have no effect on nation’s pace of 3 million shots a day.