Coronavirus: Clark, Champaign counties expect little impact from Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

The pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after recommendations from federal and state health agencies will have little effect on Clark and Champaign counties’ COVID-19 vaccination clinics, according to local health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration advised the U.S. to halt the use of the Johnson & Johnson shot after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 reported a rare and severe blood clot after getting the vaccine. One person died. As of Monday, 6.8 million people had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff advised all Ohio vaccine providers to temporarily pause using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The pause is expected to be days to weeks, DeWine said.

“The CDC and FDA say the pause of the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be short,” DeWine said. “They described it on the White House call this morning as days to weeks rather than weeks to months.”

In the meantime, providers in Ohio with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are being told to hold onto and store their supply until further instruction about the vaccine’s use, DeWine said.

Vanderhoff described the pause as transparency.

“I see this move today as one of great transparency of the medical process,” said Vanderhoff. “This should be reassuring that the scientific and medical community is really on this and watching very closely to ensure that what people are receiving is in fact safe.”

Clark County’s vaccination clinic does not often get Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Clark County Combined Health District Communications Coordinator Kyle Trout said. The vaccine’s pause “doesn’t really” affect the county’s clinic, he said.

“I don’t believe we have any now, so it might very well have no impact at all,” Trout said.

The same can be said for Champaign County. The county “has not been getting much of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine lately, but some of our partners have,” Health Commissioner Gabe Jones said.

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“We are monitoring the situation closely,” Jones said. “For those who have received the vaccine from us, these events are extremely rare. We have not had any type of adverse event reported to us at this time out of the thousands of doses given.”

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

According to a joint statement from the FDA and CDC adverse events surrounding the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “appear to be extremely rare.”

More than 264,311 Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in Ohio. Data breakdown by how many of the vaccines have been administered in each county is not available.

The state had been directing the vaccine to colleges and universities and mass vaccination sites, including a regional site in Dayton.

Last week, Wittenberg University in Springfield began vaccinating students and staff using the Pfizer vaccine. Clark State College will vaccinate students, staff and community members this week using Pfizer vaccine doses as originally planned.

Wright State University will receive the Pfizer vaccine in place of Johnson & Johnson.

Clark County had 13,515 cases and 287 deaths of the coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, according to ODH.

As of Tuesday, 45,721 Clark County residents had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, according to ODH. That’s about 34% of the county’s total population. Nearly 26% has been fully vaccinated.

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Ohio recorded 2,340 daily cases on Tuesday, making it the fourth time in the last week the state reported more than 2,000 cases a day.

The state reported 90 deaths on Tuesday for a total of 18,917. Ohio updates COVID death data twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Staff Writer Kristen Spicker and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


Did you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and developed the following within three weeks should contact their health provider:

  • Severe headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath

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