How the J&J vaccine is impacting NoVA vaccine administration


FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — After Tuesday morning’s announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommending a pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they investigate six cases of rare blood clots, Virginia has made the call to pause its use of the vaccine until further notice.

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said vaccine clinics will be switching to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to accommodate appointments.

In Northern Virginia, Fairfax has primarily used Pfizer, so residents’ appointments will not be impacted. Loudoun is switching its clinic on Saturday to Pfizer, and Manassas is switching this week’s appointments to Pfizer.

Other localities said they’ll be reaching out to reschedule for resident’s who had appointments to receive a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

VDH vaccine coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said a significant amount of Johnson & Johnson vaccines are being postponed in the Commonwealth.

“30 events that amounted to about 72,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson that were scheduled for administration this week that we are now postponing,” said Avula during a press conference on Tuesday.

The postponement of vaccines is not expected to delay the state’s move to phase two, but Avula said it will slow down the progress.

“We will not be able to have quite as many appointments available for first doses, next week and beyond,” explained Avula.

After the press conference, VDH sent out a release stating the CDC has confirmed with the health department it is investigating the March death of a Virginia woman as part of its investigation into possible adverse side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

VDH said it will stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the investigation is complete.

For additional information, the CDC is planning to convene for a public meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. 

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