Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 - coronavirus vaccine

TRENTON, N.J. — New Jersey will follow federal guidance and put Johnson & Johnson vaccines on hold, the state’s top health official said Tuesday.

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said all of the state’s vaccination sites — about 700 total, officials have said — will cancel or put appointments for the J&J vaccine on hold.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

The pause in New Jersey comes just as the supply of J&J vaccines ebbs from more than 130,000 last week to 15,000 this week. Next week just 5,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine are expected, Persichilli said.

Along with the New Jersey sites, federally run mass vaccination sites will pause the use of the J&J shot. Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have also enacted pauses.

The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S. and are not affected by the pause.

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