Coronavirus

Mass. officials instruct vaccination sites to stop administration of J&J vaccine

The state is instructing all providers to halt administration of the company’s vaccines “effective immediately,” following new recommendations from the FDA and CDC.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health directed all vaccination sites in the state Tuesday to immediately stop administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, responding to a new recommendation from federal agencies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration advised states in a joint statement Tuesday morning to “pause” administration of the single-dose vaccine while the federal agencies investigate reports of severe, rare blood clots. The officials are investigating the unusual and potentially dangerous clots that occurred in six women aged 18 to 48, between six and 13 days after they were vaccinated. 

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More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered across the United States. As of Monday, 181,034 doses of the vaccine have been given in Massachusetts.

A spokesperson for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center issued a statement announcing state will be following the recommendation from the two federal agencies “out of an abundance of caution”:

In response to today’s recommendation from the FDA and CDC to pause J&J vaccines due to an extremely rare condition reported in 6 individuals nationwide, the Department of Public Health directed all providers to immediately pause administration of the J&J vaccine until federal health experts investigate this matter. This action is being taken out of an abundance of caution as the FDA and CDC review these 6 cases, none of which are known to be linked to Massachusetts. The FDA has reported over 6.8M doses of J&J have been administered nationwide. Individuals who have received a J&J vaccine should contact their physician if they have concerns.

Massachusetts residents scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, who have questions about their booked appointment, are being advised to contact their appointment provider.

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In a statement, CVS spokesman Matt Blanchette said the pharmacy is implementing the recommended pause on the vaccine but is continuing to offer both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

“We are emailing all customers who have a scheduled appointment to receive a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at CVS Pharmacy to inform them that their appointment is being cancelled,” he said. “We regret any inconvenience and will follow up with affected customers to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible.”

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