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Arizona health officials working to substitute COVID-19 vaccines after recommended J&J pause

Johnson and Johnson
Posted at 9:37 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 21:19:25-04

PHOENIX — Arizona Department of Health Services and Maricopa County Department of Health are recommending the pause of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine distribution after the CDC and FDA released the same recommendation Tuesday morning.

RELATED: What to know if you received a J&J shot before officials said to pause the vaccines

"The primary goal is to understand all of the information available and to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for this rare adverse event and can recognize and manage this unique type of blood clot. It is important for the public to know that this rare blood clot has not been reported following receipt of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines," Maricopa County officials said in a statement.

ADHS says, "so far in Arizona, 226,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been allocated in Arizona, with approximately 122,000 administered."

The county and state say they are working to substitute other vaccine brands to keep scheduled vaccine appointments as planned.

ADHS says it "is working with local public health departments and community partners to communicate the recommended pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration. People who had appointments to receive the Johnson & Johnson can schedule an appointment for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine online at azdhs.gov/findvaccine while Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration is paused. Providers may still administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if they feel it is clinically appropriate after a discussion with their patient."

ABC15 is working to find out if other locations that distribute the J&J vaccine will be switching brands or pausing vaccinations.

So far, the City of Sedona said it is canceling its J&J vaccine event Tuesday due to the recommendations.

A Pima County event in Coolidge on Tuesday has also been canceled, and officials are urging those with a "Johnson & Johnson vaccine scheduled today with another provider in Pinal County, please check with them before traveling to your appointment."

Albertsons/Safeway says they are pausing the use of the J&J vaccine, and patients who had an appointment scheduled will be notified that their appointment has been canceled. They will be able to reschedule a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine appointment.

Kroger, Fry's parent company, says, "When available, patients scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be provided either the Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine. If the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is not available, Kroger will work with the patient to reschedule their vaccination appointment."

According to tweets from the FDA, six people developed "rare and severe" blood clots after receiving the J&J vaccine. So far, nearly 7 million Americans have received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, White House COVID-19 response team coordinator Jeff Zients said that the FDA's decision "will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan."