Traverse City News and Events

GT County To Pause Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

By Beth Milligan | April 13, 2021

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is indefinitely pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its clinics, the department announced Tuesday, after the federal government recommended halting use of the vaccine while it investigates six reported cases of a "rare and severe blood clot" associated with the Johnson & Johnson shot.

GTCHD will still hold its COVID-19 clinics this week, but will shift to using the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone who previously had a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine scheduled through the GTCHD at Northwestern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center Tuesday or Wednesday this week will be given the option to keep their appointment and receive the two-dose Pfizer vaccine.

The pause is being done as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review data involving six cases of rare and severe blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of April 12, 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review the cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates the cases. Until that process is complete, GTCHD will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "out of an abundance of caution," the department said in a release. More information is expected to be forthcoming soon from the CDC and FDA.

“Although we are pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at our clinics at this time, the vaccination team is prepared to administer Pfizer vaccine instead. We encourage people to keep their appointments and get vaccinated against COVID-19,” says GTCHD Health Officer Wendy Hirschenberger.

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