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DC Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Due to Rare Blood Clots

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DC Health has asked vaccine providers around the city to suspend releasing appointments for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a pause on the shot.

“DC Health requests that providers temporarily pause all scheduled Johnson & Johnson appointments until further notice. Appointments made via vaccinate.dc.gov will receive direct notification of the cancellation and be offered an opportunity to rebook their appointment starting tomorrow evening,” the Department said.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the CDC and the FDA said they were investigating reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot that occurred in six women after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. One person died, and another is in critical condition, according to the FDA.

The women are between the ages of 18 and 48, and what they experienced following their vaccination is a “specific type of blood clot” that requires a treatment “different from the one that might typically be administered,” the statement explained.

More than 6.8 million shots of the single dose vaccine have been administered around the country so far.

In the District, approximately 16,000 people have received Johnson & Johnson doses so far, while there are no reports of the rare blood clots, officials say. DC Health director LaQuandra Nesbitt urged everyone who got the vaccine to see a doctor if they experience side effects.

DC Health is currently contacting every health care provider in the city and telling them to temporarily halt the use of Johnson & Johnson based on the recommendation from the two federal agencies.

Around 1,200 DC residents who made appointments for Johnson & Johnson between April 13 and 17 were asked to cancel their appointments. They will be prioritized for rescheduling vaccination appointments.

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