The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has said it has told health providers in the state to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The two agencies have recommended a pause while they review data about what they call an “extremely rare type of blood clot that has been reported in six people who received that vaccine in the United States.”
All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 six to 13 days after vaccination.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said that until that process is complete, Minnesota health officials have advised a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “out of an abundance of caution.”
184,000 Minnesotans have so far received the J & J vaccine and MDH says it is not aware of any cases of the rare blood clot among them. However, Minnesotans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
Commissioner Malcom said that the J & J vaccine accounted for only 6.6 percent of the total supply of vaccines the state has received “so the pause is not expected to dramatically slow the pace of vaccinations in the state.”
“While this issue appears to be extremely rare, CDC and FDA are acting in a very cautious manner that underscores our commitment to vaccine safety,” Commissioner Malcolm said. “We will be closely monitoring the federal review process and use that information to help guide our efforts here in Minnesota in the days ahead.”
Minnesota has been among the states leading in vaccination rates.
Those who had appointments for the J & J vaccine can use the Vaccine Locator map to look for other vaccination appointments at this link.