The city and county of Los Angeles has stopped administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended Tuesday that the shot be paused after extremely rare cases of blood clots, officials said Tuesday.
The city of Los Angeles was first to announce its shift of course in the city’s vaccination efforts early Tuesday. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said about 3,000 vaccinations scheduled for Tuesday would be affected, but anyone who had a scheduled Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointment will get another COVID-19 shot instead.
“All appointments at our permanent sites will happen as planned, and the City’s MOVE clinics will honor the appointments for anyone scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with a first dose of Pfizer, as we await further information from health officials,” Garcetti said in a statement.
The Johnson & Johnson doses will be on hold at city vaccination sites until further notice. However the mayor said this week Los Angeles received nearly 60,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 56,000 doses of Pfizer which are readily available to be administered.
“All COVID-19 vaccines are helping to stop the spread of the virus,” Garcetti said. “We continue to encourage eligible Angelenos to get vaccinated so we can end the pandemic as soon as possible.”
The County of Los Angeles and the California Department of Public Health are also following the federal recommendation related to the halt of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Vaccine providers in L.A. County will be contacting patients to reschedule previously made Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments or to give them a new appointment for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
Long Beach, which has its own health department, said the single dose vaccines have also been stopped in the city.
“There have been no known issues with folks receiving the J&J vaccine in our city and there’s no impact to appointments this week at the Convention Center,” Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said on Twitter.
State officials also said they do not expect the interruption to be significant because less than 4% of the state’s vaccine allocation this week is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Gov. Gavin Newsom said people should know that COVID-19 vaccines are still “overwhelmingly safe.”
More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered nationwide.
The CDC and the FDA are investigating the six cases of the unusual blood clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccinations in women, one of whom died.
CDC officials said anyone who recently received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be on the lookout for symptoms.
“If you received the vaccine and developed severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath you should contact your medical provider and seek medical treatment,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC Deputy Director said.