Vaccination clinics across the Delaware Valley close amid Johnson & Johnson pause

Philadelphia officials say some of their vaccine clinics will be forced to close on Tuesday following the federal recommendations to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine Tuesday morning.

On Tuesday morning The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a joint statement Tuesday that the pause of the single-dose vaccine is "out of an abundance of caution" while the agencies investigate six cases of a rare type of blood clotting that was reported to have followed vaccinations.

 The clots were reported in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts.

"Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare," the statement said. "Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered."

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

U.S. federal distribution sites, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and local municipalities are following suit.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vial and box seen at a vaccination site. Doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are being administered throughout the state of Florida despite a small number of patients who have experienced adverse reactions, inclu

Tuesday morning, the City of Philadelphia released a statement on the pause, stating they and all of their partner clinics have paused the use of the J&J vaccine until they receive further guidance.

City officials have announced some clinics will be closed Tuesday as a result of the pause. Other clinics will be switched over to distributing other types of the COVID-19 vaccine as Moderna and Pfizer, the other two vaccines with emergency use authorization in the U.S., are not affected by the pause.

City leaders said anyone who was set to receive the J&J vaccine will have their appointment rescheduled as soon as possible.

Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley stressed the blood clots linked to the J&J vaccine are very rare.

Among the sites that will be closed Tuesday is the newly opened, FEMA-supported Esperanza Community Vaccination Center. The city says the site will switch to Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday and will maintain the current 1,000 appointments and walk-ups per day.

Philadelphia Fire Department community clinics will be closed until at least Monday.

The Center City FEMA site, Philadelphia Health Department community clinics, partner clinics, and mobile teams will all be open and operating Tuesday. 

Dr. Ala Stanford, of the Black Doctors COVID Consortium, spoke with FOX 29 Tuesday morning and confirmed that they too would pause distribution of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine. They will continue to vaccinate patients using the Moderna vaccine, Dr. Stanford says.

City officials say if partner sites are unable to use Moderna or Pfizer, they too may be forced to close for the day. Those with Tuesday appointments at partner clinics are asked to call ahead.

In Montgomery County, folks were turned away from their vaccination appointments.

Outside the closed Petco in the Parkside Shopping Center in Willow Grove, Abington police officers became the messengers for news no one wanted to hear while trying to walk into their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Montgomery County officials announced the closure of all Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinics Tuesday and Wednesday after federal and state directives to pause the distribution, out of an abundance of caution.

Bucks County officials postponed J&J appointments for two days, as well. In Chester County, they offered Moderna at their clinics instead.

Delaware County officials said they would relocate their J&J site and will administer Moderna or Pfizer.

Pennsylvania officials say, preliminarily, none of the six cases were in the commonwealth and it shouldn’t hurt expanding eligibility to all adults, which started Tuesday.



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