LCHD cancels Tuesday Johnson & Johnson clinics

BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
PCC EDITOR

LEE COUNTY – Lee County Health officials have cancelled clinics scheduled for today and will be making announcements about future clinics as plans develop this week.

The news comes on the heels of a release from the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration citing possible blood clot issues associated with the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.

“We received official notice this morning from Iowa Department of Public Health to halt use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines until further reviews and recommendations can be made by the FDA and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP),” said Michele Ross administrator of the Lee County Health Department.

The FDA livesteamed an information session Tuesday morning. Ross said she was participating in the updates. She said the IDPH is also meeting Tuesday and will provide an update out of that office as well.

The Lee County Health Department cancelled Johnson & Johnson clinics set for Tuesday.

“We have cancelled clinics we have scheduled today and will be meeting this morning on a plan for other clinics we have scheduled for remainder of this week and Saturday. 

County health officials had tentatively set an open Johnson & Johnson clinic at the old Iowa State Penitentiary grounds from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, but a decision on that clinic hasn’t been made as of this posting.

IDPH officials issued a statement Tuesday advising all Iowa vaccine providers to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until more details on the issues are confirmed.

Joe Rashid, owner of Rashid Pharmacy and Wellness in Fort Madison, has indicated his office is no longer providing the vaccine until further guidance is obtained from state and federal officials.

The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.

Read the statement issued by the CDC here.

According to the CDC, as of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.

In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

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