The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a joint statement this week recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following six cases of individuals developing a rare and severe type of blood clot after receiving a dose.
Yuba-Sutter health officials announced they too would be pausing all Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinics for the time being while a CDC advisory committee further reviews the cases and assesses the potential significance – they are also recommending all providers in the Yuba-Sutter area that are administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to do the same.
“Please note that this pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is out of an abundance of caution,” said Bi-County Health Officer Dr. Phuong Luu. “I personally received the J&J vaccine and still believe it to be effective and safe. While we await further update from the FDA and CDC, please note that neither the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines have been linked to blood clots formation and both are available at many Yuba-Sutter sites including clinics, pharmacies, and county-sponsored mass vaccination clinics.”
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered throughout the country to date. The six cases of blood clots (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis) occurred in women between the ages of 18-48, and symptoms occurred 6-13 days after vaccination. One of the cases resulted in death.
There have been no known cases of the rare blood clots occurring in California. The CDC recommends people who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
Despite the halt in J&J vaccine distribution, this weekend’s county-sponsored clinic will still be held.
“We have plenty of Moderna vaccines to provide for this upcoming April 17 clinic. Our county websites also show several providers in the area that also host vaccine clinics: yuba.org/vaccines and suttercounty.org/vaccine,” said Russ Brown, media and community relations coordinator for Yuba County. “Vaccines are safe, effective, and the only safe way through this pandemic. With all vaccines throughout history, there may be some adverse reactions but those are typically rare, as vaccines go through significant research and testing.”
Tiers remain unchanged
Both Yuba and Sutter counties remain in the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework.
Sutter County is currently averaging 7.3 new daily cases per 100,000 people with a test positivity of 3.5 percent. Yuba County is averaging 6.7 new daily cases per 100,000 people with a test positivity of 3.9 percent.
“To move into the less restrictive orange tier, we would need to see between 2 and 5.9 new cases/100,000 daily and a test positivity between 2 percent and 4.9 percent,” Brown said. “Our test positivity is within that range, however, we have some work to do in lowering our daily case rate.”
The number of COVID-19 cases in the Yuba-Sutter area increased by 14 on Tuesday. There are currently 98 active cases in the area.
Twelve individuals were hospitalized as of Tuesday evening, while 11 virus cases closed. To date, 143 local deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.