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THD, OSDH suspends use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Posted at 9:53 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 23:33:03-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Health Department and the Oklahoma State Department of Health announced on Tuesday it is suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine based on the recommendation of the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

According to a joint statement, the FDA and the CDC are pausing distribution and administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have asked all of our vaccine sites to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately while we gather more information,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye. “This type of potential adverse reaction following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare and has occurred in less than one in every million recipients. However, the health and safety of Oklahomans remain our top priority.”

Oklahoma currently has administered 62,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide.

Oklahomans who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after their vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.

For Oklahomans who already have scheduled Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments, OSDH is working with those providers in the meantime to offer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as alternatives.

“We have plenty of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine on hand to ensure that every Oklahoman who wants a vaccine can get one,” said Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed. “ We have no reason to believe any Oklahomans have been affected by this rare response but will continue to collect information and work closely with our partners to ensure Oklahomans are safe.”

THD and OSDH will still continue to administer the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines and both vaccines are not affected by the pause.

Vaccine clinics operated by Tulsa Health Department are open today for those with appointments. To make an appointment, anyone can sign up on THD's website.

This article has been updated to include statements and information provided by OSDH.

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