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New York Stops Distribution of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine After Health Risks

John Smith

Use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is on pause in New York State. The FDA and CDC Tuesday morning recommended suspending usage of the vaccine after 6 women developed severe blood clots following inoculation. Appointments for the shot were cancelled at the state’s vaccination clinics, like the one at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Fairgrounds Director Troy Waffner said they quickly pivoted to offer the Pfizer shot to anyone who originally had a J & J appointment, but many had been looking forward to the convenience of the single dose.

“I think everyone is disappointed,” he said. “The plus of the Johnson & Johnson is it’s one and done, so you don’t have to come back.”

Onondaga County’s clinics will also use only Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. County Executive Ryan McMahon said the pause is out of an abundance of caution. The county is storing their current supply as health experts investigate the cases involving severe blood clots.

“We don’t think this is long term, from what we’re hearing this will probably be a shorter pause than a long term one,” McMahon said.

Nearly 7 million American have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. McMahon said he believes if the federal government didn’t intend to use it again, they would have taken away the emergency use authorization. Onondaga County had been giving doses of Johnson & Johnson to Syracuse University for its on campus clinics. In an email to the University Community, Vice Chancellor Mike Haynie said the county is now supplying SU with the Pfizer vaccine.