The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) has suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at its point-of-distribution (POD) sites.
The pause in administering the one-dose vaccine, which was approved for emergency use by the FDA on Feb. 27, came under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The recommendation came “out of an abundance of caution” following six reports of severe blood clotting in vaccine recipients throughout the country.
“In alignment with the CDC’s recommendation and with safety as our top priority, the County of Orange has removed the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from all its vaccination point of distribution sites until further notice from the CDC,” a county press release said, noting that its vaccination pods will continue to dispense the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to individuals with appointments.
Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett told The Epoch Times that it won’t greatly affect the county’s vaccine supply.
“Fortunately for Orange County, we haven’t received very much in the way of vaccine supply for J&J, so it’s not going to impact us adversely relative to our supplying of vaccines to our super PODs and our mobile PODs,” she said. “Relative to our overall vaccine supply, it’s a very small percentage.”
The suspension is set to continue until the Food and Drug Administration can conduct a review of the reported cases.
The OCHCA dispensed about 27,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine between March 8 and April 12.
About 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the U.S. with the CDC reviewing six cases of the “rare and severe” blood clots in people who took the vaccine. All of the cases involved women between the ages of 18 and 48, and they developed the clots 6 to 13 days after receiving a dose.
The OCHCA recommended that those who have taken the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last three weeks look out for blood clot symptoms, such as severe headaches, abdominal or leg pain, and shortness of breath.
The removal of Johnson & Johnson vaccines came as California prepared to open vaccination appointments April 15 to all residents over the age of 16.
As of April 14, there have been 690,683 Orange County residents over 18 years of age fully vaccinated, which means almost 28 percent of Orange County adults have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s website.