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Florida suspends J&J vaccine use

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by Pat Raia, [email protected]

 Florida will temporarily stop using the single-dose John & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The pause takes place on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

“I think what they are doing it out of an abundance of caution,” DeSantis said during an April 13 press conference in Palmetto. “Because the CDC is doing it we are respecting that decision.”

In a written statement the Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said that the agency is recommending a pause in use of the J&J vaccine on grounds that six women in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 48 had reported experiencing blood clots.

No cases of complications have been reported in Florida, DeSantis said.

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“I think the track record  here in Florida has been good,” he said, “and I think people should not be worried if they have already had it (the J&J vaccine and) haven’t had any effects.”

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine were administered in the US, according to the CDC. Meanwhile 4,698 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered to residents of Hernando County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

According to the CDC, both that agency and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing data derived from the reports that prompted the pause.

Meanwhile, DeSantis hopes that the pause will be short-lived.

“We’re going to look closely at what they end up saying and doing,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll do this quickly, we can get the information and move forward.” 

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