Northern Virginia counties will resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this weekend

Virginia

NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — The City of Alexandria as well as Prince William and Loudoun counties will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after a pause from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The pause was a result of 15 cases of blood clots in nearly 8 million people who received a dose. Although officials say the odds of a blood clot are slim, health departments across the area are focusing on transparency.

“The new fact sheet for the Jansen’s Johnson & Johnson vaccine they do explicitly mention the increased risk of blood clots, particularly in young women. We want to make sure that anyone who does get vaccinated is aware of that concern,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, Director of the Loudoun County Health Department.

Goodfriend says despite the pause, roughly 300 residents have signed up for the first distribution event this coming Saturday. However, Prince William County Health Department’s Dr. Alison Ansher says the pause may have caused vaccine hesitancy.

“We have heard from other clinics that they haven’t filled up, I think all over the state and all over the country we are seeing less enthusiasm to get vaccinate,” said Ansher.

This time around, Prince William County residents will be able to choose which vaccine they prefer. For those who decide to get vaccinated, there are some warning signs to watch out for — headache, abdominal pain, nausea, and pain in the chest are just a few.

Despite the small possibility, Goodfriend and Ansher say most of the time the benefits outweigh the risk.

“Unless they have a reason not to get vaccinated, we recommend to just choose a vaccine, whichever one works for you, because the more people we can get vaccinated the quicker and sooner we can get back to our normal lives,” said Goodfriend.

Health officials say there is a 3 week post-shot reaction time to experience blood clot symptoms. If you experience any, call your doctor immediately.

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