Dallas, TX --The effort to vaccinate North Texas meets a new obstacle Tuesday. Out of an abundance of caution, all three mass vaccination sites run by the federal government across Texas stop issuing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and switch to the other two available vaccines where possible. The move comes after the Federal guidance and investigations into complications after some women received the vaccine.
"In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The clots were observed in the sinuses of the brain along with reduced platelet counts -- making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially "dangerous."
The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are not part of the pause and are being used in place of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine whenever possible across Dallas and North Texas.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins tweeted:
And tweeted that there was no waiting and no appointment necessary to get vaccinated at Fair Park.
"Whenever an issue like this occurs, it will cause some concern not only about this vaccine but other vaccines, and I think that’s part of the message — that, especially with the other vaccines, that they have been very safe and effective," he said. "We also know that COVID is here, and causes significant health consequences, so that ... has to be put into that overall perspective."
The Dallas paper goes on to say:
"The pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine came after a "rare and severe type of blood clot" was reported in six women across the nation after getting the shot. None of the six happened in Texas, state health officials said. About 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in Texas, according to a statement by the Texas Department of State Health Services."
The Food and Drug Administration estimates nearly 7 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Texas was already prepared to receive a massive decrease of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week. The biggest impact may likely be on Texas pharmaceutical companies like HEB and other chains who were expecting deliveries of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine because it is more stable.
David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and a chief medical officer at the University of Texas System and a member of the state's Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, says:
"The vaccine is more stable and more easily stored than those produced by Pfizer and Moderna, it was also the vaccine of choice for mobile vaccination efforts, including the Save Our Seniors program, which targeted seniors in their homes, he said."
The greater concern is that those who are vaccine-hesitant will become even more hesitant to receive the vaccine and can raise barriers to Texas achieve her immunity.
Dr. Fauci, on the CBS News, says, "Remember that this rare kind of clot is extremely rare--less than 1 in one million. And this is not applicable to the other vaccines."
Governor Greg Abbott says:
“I urge Texans who do experience adverse reactions, such as severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, to contact their health care providers or call 2-1-1 to receive a referral for a health care provider,” Abbott said.
“I continue to encourage Texans who wish to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to sign up,” Abbott said.
Health officials in Houston, Harris, and Dallas Counties have halted the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Many sites in Austin were already using the other two vaccines.