EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — After receiving the green light from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, El Paso vaccine providers have resumed administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after an 11-day pause.
As KTSM 9 News has previously reported, the CDC and FDA recommended providers paused the vaccine after six cases of rare blood clots were reported following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
During the pause, scientific advisers decided the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the rare risk of blood clot.
Texas is one of several states resuming the vaccinations. Others include Indiana, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Virginia.
In El Paso, some providers whom already had Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the time of the pause began administering them again.
The city of El Paso restarted after state and federal pauses were lifted. The city had about 1,240 Johnson & Johnson doses stored at the time of the pause, which it immediately stopped administering per recommendation from health officials.
Now that the state and federal government has lifted the pause and updated guidelines on the J&J vaccine, the city adjusted protocols to include new information as recommended by the CDC and began administering the vaccine.
El Paso’s City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza said they are letting people know about the blood clot risks at the time of vaccination and also recommend people reach out to their physicians to see if they should receive the vaccine or if they have any symptoms.
“One thing that we do recommend is that they don’t take medications because some may take anti-coagulants because of the clots and we don’t recommend people do that. This is just a warning so they are aware, but nothing should change in regards to coming and getting the vaccine,” Ocaranza said.
He added studies show it is extremely rare to develop the clots, saying it is “less than one-in-a-million chance.”
Other area providers also resumed. Life Ambulance had 100 doses, which it began administering on Wednesday.
Well Med Clinics told KTSM it resumed Johnson & Johnson vaccinations in El Paso with 1,000 doses.
El Paso Community College had 600 Johnson & Johnson doses at the time of the pause. Officials said they are giving out other brand vaccines at this time.
Conviva Cliffside Clinic had 100 doses allocated, but they have not responded to KTSM’s request at this time.
Other pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens also resumed Johnson & Johnson vaccines in addition to Pfizer and Moderna.
On Monday, the CDC released a set of updated guidelines on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:
- Reports of adverse events following the use of J&J/Janssen vaccine suggest an increased risk of a rare adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Nearly all reports of this serious condition, which involves blood clots with low platelets, have been in adult women younger than 50 years old.
- A review of all available data at this time shows that the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
- However, women younger than 50 years old especially should be aware of the rare, but increased, risk of this adverse event and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available for which this risk has not been seen.
- CDC and FDA will continue to monitor the safety of all COVID-19 vaccines.