Arizona Health Department Pausing On Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Following Federal Recommendations

By Rocio Hernandez
Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 1:17pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 7:35am

The state health department is pausing its use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.

The recommendations are based on six reported cases in the U.S. of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals days after receiving the vaccine. 

While this is extremely rare, Arizona will follow the federal recommendations out of an abundance of caution, said Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a Tuesday statement. 

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and is one of the best tools we have to reduce the spread of the disease in Arizona," she said. "I encourage everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19.” 

Nationally, 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered nationally. Meanwhile, 226,300 doses of the J&J vaccine have been allocated in Arizona, with approximately 122,000 administered. 

People with an appointment for a J&J vaccine can make a new appointment for a Pfizer or Moderna shot online. Providers may still administer the J&J vaccine if it’s clinically appropriate for a patient, Christ said. 

Christ also recommends people contact their health care provider if they develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the J&J vaccine. 

The federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on Wednesday and will provide further guidance to states. 

→ Q&AZ: What You Need To Know About Getting The Coronavirus Vaccine In Arizona

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