***UPDATE: As of April 23, 2021, the CDC cleared the United Stated to resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The vaccine will now come with a warning of the potential, but rare, risk of life-threatening blood clots.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been put on pause due to blood clots being found in six cases of people who have received the vaccine. The pause is not expected to last long, as both the FDA and the CDC investigate the causes of the blood clotting and if there are any correlations between cases. The six clotting cases did come in women aged 18 to 48, but it is not yet known if there were any common underlying health conditions that were not disclosed. While only six cases were found, this is a rare and severe blood clot that occurs in the brain. At this point, about seven million people have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
At this time, places and people who were administering the vaccine are now recommending to use either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccine instead of J&J during the pause. The pause of the rollout impacts the vaccine efforts all around, forcing both state and local governments to pivot and find alternatives for those who were signed up for Johnson and Johnson. With J&J being a one-shot vaccine, those who were signed up will now have to take a two-dose vaccine in Pfizer or Moderna if they do not want to wait to be vaccinated.
The demand for the vaccine, however, is lowering, with county and state waiting lists being very short or nonexistent due to the abundance of vaccines available. In Dallas County, those 50 and older do not need an appointment to receive a vaccine, while those between 18 and 50 can receive same day or next day appointments at the county vaccination hub at Fair Park. Vaccine efforts in Dallas have finally reached a steady pace after a complicated rollout, from logistical issues at Fair Park to the winter storm that caused a multitude of problems and delays in the system. It has not yet been determined when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be eligible for use again, and it could take some time for the CDC and FDA’s investigations to conclude.
In Texas, 21 percent of all people are fully vaccinated, with over 20 million doses issued. Approximately 35 percent of people in Texas have received at least one dose of the two-shot vaccine.
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