Johnson & Johnson vaccine temporarily paused, Health officials say vaccine is still effective

Arkansas News

EL DORADO, Ark. KTVE/KARD 4/13/21 — As of now, no one will receive the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine until further notice. Does it mean it’s not safe? State officials discussed the topic today in a news conference.

Tuesday morning, the FDA and CDC recommended the company temporarily pause administering the vaccine after six women across the United States received adverse effects from the shot. The women, between the ages of 18 to 48, developed blood shots a few weeks after their appointment.

The news has caused caused many to question whether or not they would get vaccinated.

Toi Lyons, 38, has been hesitant on getting the vaccine because of the side effects. Had she gone ahead and set an appointment, she says she would have opted to receive the single dose J&J vaccine but she’s glad waited.

“It does concern me a little bit. I’m glad the numbers aren’t real high though. Like you said 6 women,” Toi Lyons said.

The Arkansas Health Department is following FDA and CDC recommendations to also pause administering the vaccine, urging pharmacists to only allow people to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Governor Hutchinson believes this may cause problems for the state as it has been advocating for people to get vaccinated. Nearly 7 million people across the country have already received this particular vaccine.

“People should have confidence and we want to continue to build that. The fact that they are being so transparent should build confidence. They’re disclosing six adverse cases out of 6 million. That transparency should build confidence over the long term,” Governor Hutchinson said.

Dr. Jose Ramero, Secretary of the Arkansas Health Department, says if it has been more than a month since you’ve received the vaccine, there is a low risk of developing any symptoms.

“It remains effective so you have a vaccination that works,” Governor Hutchinson said.

Though, if you have received it within the past 2-3 weeks, you should be alert for the following symptoms including intense headaches, chest, abdominal and leg pain.

“Those things should prompt you to get medical attention at an emergency room. Allow those doctors to go ahead and examine you. Please inform the physicians that have received the Jansen vaccine and how many days or weeks it’s been since the dose was given,” Dr. Ramero said.

However, he believes there is no need for anyone to panic.

“Please keep in mind we have already detected adverse events with the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Some people have allergic reactions,” he said.

The Union County Health Unit was supposed to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week with help from the Arkansas National Guard.

If you have set an appointment, the health unit is asking that you to not call and cancel. There is a possibility other vaccines will be available, according to Colonel Robert Ator, program manager for the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment.

“There should be no impact. We have plenty of vaccine to be able to back this up. We will work with them to make sure they are up and running so they can go forward,” Colonel Ator said. “There may be a day delay. If they had an event that was going to happen today or tomorrow there may be a slight pause while we get the vaccine to them.”

A representative from the health unit will call the patient if an appointment needs to be canceled or rescheduled.

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