DHEC pauses Johnson & Johnson distribution, says change will impact supply of vaccines statewide

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has placed an immediate pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines and has contacted providers to alert them of the new development.

“South Carolina public health officials received word this morning, like many throughout the nation and the state, that the CDC and FDA have recommended immediately pausing use of the Janssen vaccine due to concerns with blood clotting,” DHEC said in a statement to News13.

“This pause is evidence of very close safety monitoring as part of the strict quality assurance that is in place to ensure patient safety.”

DHEC is in the process of rescheduling or changing planned vaccine types for events that were going to use Johnson & Johnson.  
“We recognize that this will impact our current supply of vaccines across the state and are awaiting to hear more information from the federal government,” DHEC officials said.

South Carolina, like most states, had been receiving a small amount of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the federal government — about 7,000 doses a week — compared to the more than 40,000 doses each of Pfizer and Moderna we receive each week.

Because of this, the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is less of an impact in South Carolina than the state would experience if a pause occurred on Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

Millions of people in the United States have received doses of vaccines with very little side effects.  

From the CDC & FDA Joint Statement:”Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.”

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