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MSDH pauses distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Photo by SuperTalk Mississippi News

The Mississippi State Department of Health is pausing its distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on the recommendation of the CDC and FDA after six women—none from Mississippi—developed a rare blood clot in the days following the shot.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers discussed the pause this afternoon, stating that the pause will last until they receive more guidance from agencies. 

“CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the CDC and FDA said. 

Dr. Dobbs explained that the risk of the rare blood clot, which occurs in the brain, seems to be around one in a million at this time. In Mississippi, 42,000 doses of the one-shot vaccine have been administered. For those who have received the shot, Dr. Dobbs reassured you that there is no need to be overly concerned, but outlined the symptoms to monitor. 

“The achiness and stuff that happens immediately after the shot, that’s not what we’re talking about,” he said. “If you have a severe headache, severe abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of the J&J shot, please call your physician or clinic.”

The MSDH officials noted that the age range of the women who developed the clot was 18-48 and they developed the symptoms between 6-13 days after getting the vaccine. 

Dr. Byers and Dr. Dobbs both continued to stress that this pause is only related to the J&J vaccine and that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are used at the state-run sites, continue to display a high efficacy rate and strong safety profile. 

Watch the full MSDH announcement below:

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