Vermont suspends use of J&J after federal recommendation
The state of Vermont announced Tuesday it was suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the state “out of an abundance of caution” while scientists study a series of rare blood clots reported in a small number of patients.
About 2,000 Johnson & Johnson appointments scheduled for Tuesday were canceled as were about 2,000 more that were scheduled for the rest of the week.
Meanwhile the state will reach out to people whose appointments were canceled to reschedule them. People will be offered the opportunity to make appointments for the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Gov. Phil Scott and other officials said they expected the pause to last “days not weeks” and they don’t expect it to affect the state’s overall reopening guidance that has set July 4 as the day by which Vermont will be able to substantially reopen from the pandemic guidelines that have been in place for more than a year.
Scott said the state is expecting to receive an increase in the supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week and no Johnson & Johnson deliveries had been expected next week, even before the pause.
“We are on par with where we were last week,” Scott said. “We feel we will be OK at this point in time.”
Scott said that if needed the state could add vaccination appointments to make up for those lost between now and when Johnson & Johnson is once again cleared for use.
The move came after the federal government decided to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after unusual blood clots were reported in six women who developed the symptoms between six and 13 days after they were given the shot. A total of more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered across the country.
The decision by the federal government to suspend the use of Johnson & Johnson will not affect the other two vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, that are currently authorized for use in the United States.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S.
On Tuesday the Vermont Department of Health reported more than 70 new confirmed cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to almost 21,400.
There were 30 people hospitalized, including five in intensive care.
The number of fatalities was 233, unchanged from Monday.
The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 166.14 new cases per day on March 28 to 146.29 new cases per day on April 11.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 0.86 deaths per day on March 28 to 0.57 deaths per day on April 11.