Following CDC, Utah recommends Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

A vial of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine seen in March 2021 at a drive-thru clinic at Intermountain Orthopedic Specialty Hospital. Murray, Utah | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is recommending that providers pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following the lead of federal officials who are investigating reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

Stock photo | Photo by
insta_photos/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death.

No blood clots have been reported in Utah out of nearly 77,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that have been given out, the Utah Department of Health said Tuesday in a news release. Rich Saunders, the department’s executive director, said a pause is the right thing to do even though it will slow vaccination efforts.

“It’s critical the public be confident in the COVID-19 vaccines,” Saunders said in a statement. “In order to build and maintain that confidence reports like these must be taken seriously and fully investigated to determine what role, if any, the vaccine played.”

The majority the vaccine doses delivered to Utah residents are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which will continue to be given out, Saunders said. More than 1.8 million doses of those have been administered.

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