Washington state on Tuesday paused the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine doses.
“Use of that vaccine will be put on hold until we receive further recommendations from our federal partners about how best to move forward. Safety is the highest priority when it comes to all COVID-19 vaccines,” the state Department of Health said in a news release.
Washington officials aren’t aware of any instances of blood clots associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccines here, according to Gov. Jay Inslee’s office.
“There are no incidents that we are aware of with blood clots here,” wrote Inslee spokesperson Tara Lee in an email, adding later: “Hopefully people are aware that it is six people out of 6 million doses total nationwide.”
Inslee and State Health Secretary Umair Shah spoke this morning about the issue, which has prompted several states to pause use of the vaccine.
Federal health agencies called for an immediate pause in administration of the vaccine after six women who had received it developed a rare condition involving blood clots.
Federal regulators will now review reports of adverse events and determine if there’s a link to the vaccine.
“… These events appear to be extremely rare,” FDA Acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a news conference. “We expect it to be a matter of days for this pause.”
The federal agencies are recommending that people who were given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who are experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the shot contact their health care provider.
The health department said some 149,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Washington so far.
According to the state’s April 8 update on vaccine distribution, the state was forecast to receive 12,900 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week and 4,300 for each of the following two weeks. The state was forecast to receive 386,810 doses of all vaccines this week.
Material from the Associated Press is included in this report.