Nevada pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine following new federal recommendation

Coronavirus

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the review of it is complete, according to a statement from Nevada Health Response Tuesday. This comes hours after the CDC and FDA recommended a pause on the single-dose vaccine following reports of a rare type of blood clot occurring in six women days after vaccination.

The Southern Nevada Health District released a statement Tuesday that the district has stopped using the vaccine at its clinics until further notice from the federal government. That was followed by a news conference with Dr. Fermin Leguen, the District Health Officer. To date, he said reactions involving blood clots have not been reported in Southern Nevada.

“There hasn’t been any cases reported with those severe events,” he said.

A sign stating “NO JOHNSON & JOHNSON” stands at the entrance of the Las Vegas Convention Center mass vaccination site.

Leguen said the district has received around 50 reports from people who had minor adverse reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The health district’s statement, in part:

“The severe adverse events that occurred were all reported in women between the ages of 18 to 48, and their symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine. At this time, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare and people who received the vaccine more than three weeks ago are at even lower risk. People who received the Janssen vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of vaccination should contact their health care provider. More information is available at www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are not associated with these events. To date, more than 1,180,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Clark County, including more than 47,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine. The Health District and its community partners schedule vaccine appointments based on the allotment received each week, and there will sufficient vaccine supplies to continue to safely vaccinate the community.”

SNHD

The state’s health department is working with providers and local partners to contact individuals scheduled for a J&J vaccine who are affected by today’s announcement.

Leguen said pulling the vaccine should not have too much impact on people getting vaccinated because there was only a limited amount of the J&J vaccine in the community.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are still available for Nevadans and appointment slots are open across the state. Leguen said this pause should not cause Nevadans to hesitate getting vaccinated.

“The vaccines we are offering — Pfizer and Moderna — those vaccines have been proven to be effective and also to be safe,” he said.

Full Statement from the Nevada Health Response:

“This morning the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement regarding the use of the Janssen – also referred to as the J&J – COVID-19 vaccine. A pause in the use of the vaccine was recommended while reports of six serious reactions are investigated. 

The State of Nevada is committed to protecting the health and safety of all Nevadans and will pause the use of the Janssen one-shot vaccine until the review is complete. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nevada State Immunization Program are contacting providers to inform them of this announcement and working to avoid any disruption of planned vaccination clinics. 

DHHS is working with local partners to contact anyone scheduled for a Janssen vaccine who may be affected by today’s announcement from the federal government. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines remain available for providers in Nevada and appointment slots are open across the State. Nevadans should watch for announcements from local health districts or providers for additional information as it becomes available.  

Additionally, the Janssen product has been used on the two Mobile Vaccine Units (MVUs) that are traveling in Nevada’s rural and frontier regions. No clinics are planned for the MVUs today. Once additional information is available, the State will update Nevadans on the plans for the mobile units. 

As of Monday, more than 6.8 million doses of the Janssen vaccine have been administered in the United States. 

Nevadans should be confident in this process and the work being done to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective. Based on information provided by the federal government, these are rare but serious reactions and will be thoroughly reviewed. 

The CDC has stated that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet on Wednesday to review the six cases. None of the cases are located in Nevada. 

People who have received the Janssen vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.”

Nevada Health Response

A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the reported cases and the FDA has also launched an investigation.

8 News Now will release more information from local health districts or providers as it becomes available.  

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