PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona health officials urged a halt Tuesday to the administering of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following reports it could lead to rare but potentially dangerous blood clots.
In a news release, the state Department of Public Health Services said it was yielding to the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
The federal agencies called for a pause in using the vaccine until an investigation could be conducted into six cases where clots developed. The unusual clots have occurred 6 to 13 days post-vaccination.
The FDA commissioner said she expected the pause to last a matter of days.
The clots were in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets, the fragments in blood that normally form clots. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.
More than 226,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been allocated to Arizona. Roughly 122,000 have been given, according to state health officials.
Public health officials in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, will also press the pause button in wake of the new recommendations.
“Maricopa County is working closely with our partners to keep as many scheduled vaccine events running as possible by substituting another available vaccine,” Ron Coleman, a county spokesman, said in a statement.
Anyone who has an appointment to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will have to find an appointment to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. According to the news release, health care providers may still give the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if they feel it is appropriate after discussing the matter with the patient.
Meanwhile, Arizona health officials also reported Tuesday another 610 confirmed cases and 19 related deaths. Hospitalizations because of COVID-19 in the state went up slightly from the previous day to 565. The number of people in ICUs remained about the same at 150.
Since the pandemic, Arizona has seen 850,846 cases and 17,105 deaths in total.