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Providers To Pause Distribution Of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine; Moderna, Pfizer Vaccine To Be Administered As Scheduled

CHRISTUS Health: Anyone Receiving J&J Vaccine In Last 2 Weeks Should Monitor For Symptoms, Contact PCP Immediately If Detected

The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a statement asking all COVID-19 vaccine providers in Texas to pause all administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine following Tuesday’s recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

The recommended “pause” in J&J administration follows reports of blood clots in six individuals 6-13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, the “adverse events appear to be extremely rare and are being further evaluated to ensure vaccine safety,” DSHS reported April 13. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told states to expect smaller weekly allocations of the J&J vaccine until a plant in Baltimore is authorized to participate in vaccine production. While none of the cases of blood clots reported have occurred in Texas, where more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered, DSHS April 9 reported Texas would receive a reduction of approximately 350,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.

Many facilities were still scheduled to receive the J&J COVID-19 during this week’s distribution, including 1,000 doses allocated to CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs. Many local pharmacies have received doses of COVID-19 vaccine, which vary by location and distribution date.

“CHRISTUS Health is fully aware that the CDC and FDA have recommended a short pause in administration of the Jannsen Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution while they investigate six cases of blood clots in women between the ages of 18 and 48 who received the vaccine,” CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro President/Chief Executive Officer Paul Harvey cited from a system-wide release from CHRISTUS Health. “Although this side effect is believed to be extremely rare (six out of 6.8 million people in the U.S. who have received it), we fully support this cautious approach to ensuring the vaccinations we are administering to our neighbors and friends each and every day are fully safe and effective.”

CHRISTUS Health

CHRISTUS Health has immediately paused any administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and await further guidance. If it becomes necessary, CHRISTUS does have a number of other vaccinations (Moderna and Pfizer) that can be offered to those scheduled to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccine from a CHRISTUS provider.

In Sulphur Springs, Walmart, CVS, Cody Pharmacy, Brookshire’s and Walgreens are all reported to have received doses of vaccine at different times over the 18 weeks the shots have been available. Anyone scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine should consult with their provider for any updates for vaccine rescheduling.

CHRISTUS Health recommends that “anyone who received the vaccine in the last two weeks monitor their symptoms and notify their primary care provider immediately if they develop sudden onset severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath within 3 weeks after vaccination,” the CHRISTUS release from Harvey stated.

DSHS as of Tuesday morning, April 13, had not been notified of any change in vaccine distribution. Providers who have or receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are being instructed to continue storing it in the proper conditions. Providers should report all adverse events following any vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System at vaers.hhs.gov.

While the J&J COVID-19 vaccine administration has been temporarily halted, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still being administered as scheduled, that includes the vaccine clinics scheduled in the lobby at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs as well as those coordinated by the Local Health Authority and administered by Texas National Guard.

“We’re thankful for the opportunity to serve our communities by providing life-saving vaccinations against COVID-19 and to provide safe and effective care they need. We appreciate the cautious and thoughtful approach of the FDA and CDC in continuing to ensure these vaccinations are safe and trustworthy for all those we are privileged to serve, and we remain entirely committed to doing the same,” the CHRISTUS release from Harvey stated.

Front entrance to CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital-Sulphur Springs

Author: Faith Huffman

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