▶️ J&J vaccine ‘pause’ not likely to impact local vaccinations this week

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration have called for a pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

That includes in Oregon.

This precaution comes after six women, none from Oregon, experienced a rare side effect.

“Six women experienced a rare and severe blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis within one and three weeks of getting a Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” Dr. Paul Cieslak, Oregon Health Authority senior health advisor said.

Out of an “abundance of caution,” the OHA is asking all vaccine providers to hold off administering the vaccine.

Health officials consider similar side effects to be extremely rare.

“This was about one in a million vaccine doses administered,” Cieslak said. “We still don’t know whether the vaccine was causally related to these side effects.”

A pause is in place so the CDC and FDA can further investigate, but that doesn’t give Bend resident Mare Yaroscak much confidence about it.

Yaroscak now has concerns after receiving a Johnson & Johnson dose six days ago when she expected to receive Pfizer.

“You know, just to put out there that the side effects are real and that people did have problems with it,” Yaroscak said. “Maybe only six, okay, well that’s as of today. I don’t know what’s going to happen later, I had a headache.”

Symptoms include severe headache, leg pain, shortness of breath, and abdominal pain.

The OHA still recommends Oregonians take whatever vaccine becomes available to them.

According to Deschutes County Public Health, vaccinations shouldn’t be affected at the local level this week.

“We do not have any scheduled Johnson & Johnson doses this week at the mass vaccination clinic,” Dr. Wil Berry, medical director said.

Of the 76,234 vaccinated people in Deschutes County, 3,103 of them received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the OHA.

Berry says because appointments haven’t been scheduled so far in advance, it’s tough to say if the pause will have a long-term, local impact.

The OHA recommends anyone who received Johnson & Johnson be on the lookout for symptoms 21 days after their vaccination.

Anyone who passes that time frame should be in the clear.

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