Johnson and Johnson vaccine administered at mobile vaccination clinic in Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania says it is following the federal government’s recommendation and pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine during an investigation into reports of unusual blood clots.

The state Department of Health told all COVID-19 vaccine providers in the state Tuesday to stop administering the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine until at least April 20 “out of an abundance of caution.”

“While this announcement is challenging, it highlights the vaccine evaluation process,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a news release. “The CDC and the FDA are closely monitoring vaccines for safety and effectiveness, and if there is a cause for concern, they will take action because safety is paramount.

According to federal data, Pennsylvania has received 778,000 doses of the J&J vaccine and administered more than 257,000.

The health department said those who have received the J&J shot who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of the vaccination should call their doctor.

Philadelphia has also paused its use of the J&J vaccine, as has neighboring New Jersey.

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