Genesee County, MI— Genesee County health officials announced Tuesday that all residents scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine will instead receive either Pfizer or Moderna. The announcement came after federal health officials recommended a pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson shot following reports of six women who experienced rare but serious blood clots. 

Existing appointments will not be cancelled.

“[Residents] should still show up to their appointment if they’re willing to receive Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. We do have enough vaccines to make sure that anyone has an appointment, can keep that appointment,” Kayleigh Blaney said, deputy health officer for the Genesee County Health Department.

Drive-thru clinics that were also scheduled to provide the Johnson & Johnson shot will now provide Pfizer or Moderna. 

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson have been administered, according to a joint statement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration.

Blood clots are extremely rare, it said. 

“CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.” 

Blaney said the Johnson & Johnson shot will not be administered in Genesee County until it is reapproved by the FDA, CDC and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

She said that those who have already received the Johnson & Johnson shot should know that the likelihood of a blood clot is extremely rare. However, she said caution is always recommended. 

“Anybody who has received the vaccine, for about a week to three weeks after you receive the vaccine, if you’re feeling ill, you should contact your physician,” Blaney said.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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