LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - After so much excitement over a single dose vaccine, there are questions now over the safety of the so-called “One and Done” shot.
The CDC has put a hold on the Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccine until it can be reviewed tomorrow with experts at the Food and Drug Administration. The concern is an adverse reaction in 6 women between the ages of 18 and 48 who developed a rare, but serious complication up to 2 weeks after the shot. Dr. Ron Cook, TTUHSC Chief Medical Officer and Lubbock Health Authority, puts the adverse reactions conflict in perspective. “6 cases out of 6.8 million- which is a tiny, tiny tiny percent.”
The 6 women developed a rare disorder involving blood clots in the brain. One has died and another is in critical condition. This comes after the J&J had become the vaccine of choice at the Lubbock Health Department. Dr. Cook says, “We have several thousand doses but we’ve put everything on hold. We’re not administering any J&J vaccine in Lubbock.” Katherine Wells, Director of the Lubbock Health Department, says, “It’s important to put that hold and actually let the scientists you know, look at the data.”
So what about the more than 2600 who have already been given the J&J at the Civic Center or through other providers in Lubbock? So far, there have been no adverse reactions from the single dose vaccine here in Lubbock or among the 500,000 doses given statewide. But, how would you know if you might be developing a blood clot after the vaccine? Dr. Cook says “So things like headache, things like blurry vision, or numbness on one side, or the other side, like a stroke or something like that.” He says if you have any problems within 2 weeks of getting the J&J, tell your doctor that you received the vaccine. Other symptoms, according to the CDC, may include abdominal pain, leg pain and shortness of breath.
Dr. Cook also leaves the door open for other possible complaints that may appear. “Once you make an announcement like this, if there are others who have had it, there will be a bigger reporting.”
In the meantime, all the J&J in Lubbock is going into refrigeration instead of people arms... at least for a while.
Luckily, there is no worry about waste in this case.
Dr. Cook says the J&J single shot is not only convenient to give, but easy to save. “It has a long shelf life in the refrigerator.”
That means we have more than enough time to determine if the “One and Done” is safe to continue without wasting a single dose in the meantime.
Note: If you have an appointment for the Johnson and Johnson vaccine tomorrow, you will be given the Moderna vaccine instead and asked to return for your second dose at the appropriate time.