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Lubbock Health Department suspends giving J&J vaccine after FDA issues ‘pause’

Johnson & Johnson vaccine use at the Lubbock Health Department clinics has been paused.
Johnson & Johnson vaccine use at the Lubbock Health Department clinics has been paused.(Source: KCBD)
Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 9:37 AM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they are recommending a “pause” in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine out of an “abundance of caution” while an investigation is conducted into reports of apparently rare, potentially dangerous blood clots.

Due to a subsequent directive by the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Lubbock Public Health Department will not be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice.

“It’s six individuals that have had an adverse reaction,” Director of Public Health Katherine Wells said. “We want to make sure that there isn’t a problem with the J&J. If you think you’re having that reaction, please call your primary care doctor. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, contact the Health Department directly and ask to speak with one of our nursing staff.”

None of the six cases are in Lubbock where at least 2,300 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered by the Health Department. More than 500,000 have been administered in Texas.

“It’s unfortunate, but I think the right decision is to err always on the side of safety,” Wells said. “If they see a trend or a couple of cases, it’s important to put that hold and actually let the scientists look at the data. These are new vaccines. I do believe they’re safe. We just need to have that secondary review because this came up. I think after that group meets they’ll make the right recommendation for the entire United States and the City’s going to follow those recommendations.”

If anyone has made an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the Civic Center, they can keep their appointment but will be offered the Moderna vaccine.

“These are well-tested vaccines,” Wells said. “They’ve shown to be very safe and effective. The technology in the J&J is different than the Moderna and the Pfizer vaccine. No trends have been seen with either the Pfizer or the Moderna so we’re going to continue to offer those vaccines to the community.”

Also, no walk-up appointments will be available until further notice.

For more information, citizens can call the Public Health Department at 806.775.2933.

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