WVU pauses Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine amid concerns
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University announced Tuesday it will temporarily stop administering the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
The announcement came hours after the U.S. recommended a “pause” in using the single-dose vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots.
Dr. Clay Marsh, who is the state’s coronavirus czar and vice president and executive dean of WVU Health Sciences, noted that the federal recommendation occurred amid an investigation of unusual clots in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.
“The fact that CDC and FDA are acting out of caution for 6 clotting episodes in 6.8 million doses given should reassure West Virginia residents that we are watching any and all associated findings in those vaccinated to make sure safety is our priority,” Marsh said in a statement.
Until the cases are reviewed, WVU will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines on all campuses out of abundance of caution, the statement said. The university will work with people scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson doses to enable them to receive doses for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines based on availability.
WVU said it administered 846 Johnson & Johnson doses during an April 8 clinic on the Morgantown campus. All other clinics held at WVU have administered doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
Earlier Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice ordered the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to stop until further notice. The state’s health agency has received no reports of clotting events in West Virginia involving residents who have received the vaccine.