Louisiana Department of Health halts use of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Health, in accord with recent direction from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will no longer use Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.
The halt in the state's administration and distribution of the vaccine was confirmed Tuesday, by LDH's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Kanter. A statement from the governor said no issues had been reported in Louisiana as of Tuesday morning.
"There have been around 85,000 Johnson and Johnson doses administered in Louisiana and no reported cases of this rare blood clot that we are aware of," Gov. Edwards said. "In the short term, this means some community vaccination events may have to be rescheduled or shifted to use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for now and working with the team from the Louisiana Department of Health and health care officials, we will continue the important work of administering vaccines.”
LDH's decision was made following the federal government's recommendation to halt the administration of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine due to its possible connection with the development of potentially dangerous blood clots.
Shortly after the announcements from the CDC, FDA and Louisiana Department of Health, Ochsner Baton Rouge said it would not distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice.
"The safety of our patients and community is our highest priority. While we have not seen any of our patients experience this type of reaction, we took immediate action upon learning of this guidance," the statement read in part. "We have adequate supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines."
A thorough investigation into the vaccine will be launched and during that time, health experts recommend that it not be administered for safety reasons.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced that both groups are researching the formation of clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after they were vaccinated.
The patients not only had clots in the sinuses of the brain, but also appeared to have a reduced platelet count.
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