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Los Angeles County Suspends Johnson & Johnson Blood Clot Vaccine – Deadline

UPDATE with the latest: In the wake of Los Angeles pulling its meager supply of Johnson & Johnson vaccine this morning, California state epidemiologist Dr Erica Pan released the following statement regarding the coronavirus vaccine:

“Today, the CDC and the FDA recommended a temporary pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine out of caution. Of more than 6.8 million doses administered nationally, six cases have been reported of a rare and severe type of blood clot with symptoms occurring 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

“California is following the FDA and CDC recommendation and has ordered healthcare providers to suspend use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we receive further instruction from health and safety experts. In addition, the state will convene the Western States Scientific Security Review Working Group to review the information provided by the federal government on this matter. As the federal government has said, we don’t expect a significant impact on our immunization allocations. In California, less than 4% of our vaccine allocation this week is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. ”

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The last line may sound reassuring, but it is misleading to say the least. The 4% figure is undoubtedly correct, but the allocation is so small because J&J supplies declined this week without an offsetting increase in doses of Pfizer and Moderna.

As a result, the overall vaccine supply in Los Angeles is expected to drop 15% this week and 5% next week. And it was before national and local authorities have withdrawn the last 4% of J&J. The region could therefore consider a reduction of almost 20% in doses this week and 25% next week. The drop comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom approved millions of additional residents for vaccinations this week, with all Californians 16 and older becoming eligible. More information below.

PREVIOUS at 10 a.m.: Concerns about the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine were raised this morning following reports that federal health agencies recommended an immediate hiatus in single-dose vaccine use after six US recipients had developed severe blood clots.

While Los Angeles and Orange counties, as well as the state, did not immediately say what this could mean for vaccination sites in the region, the city of LA will suspend use of the Johnson vaccine. & Johnson, according to Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“Following advice from public health officials,” Garcetti wrote on Twitter, “our city-run immunization program has suspended use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

“Appointments on permanent sites will not be impacted,” he promised. “Angelenos who should receive J&J from our MOVE clinics will receive a 1st dose of Pfizer.”

The Wilmington mobile vaccination site will switch to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, Councilor Joe Buscaino said.

Buscaino issued a statement Tuesday saying, “The City of Los Angeles Mobile Vaccination Site, which begins immunizations today (Tuesday) in Wilmington, will switch from its scheduled Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution to Pfizer today. “

CBSLA, meanwhile, quoted an LA Fire Department spokesperson confirming that the Cal State Los Angeles vaccination site would offer people with Johnson & Johnson appointments the option of getting a Moderna vaccine or Pfizer, depending on their eligibility.

LA County this week received an allocation of 323,470 total doses of vaccine – including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna. This represents an overall decrease of about 80,000 from last week. The drop is due to an 88% reduction in Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply this week caused by a manufacturing error that invalidated 15 million doses of the vaccine.

California health officials announced last week that if J&J’s allocation for this week was 574,900 robust doses, this week’s would only be 67,600 and next week’s allocation of 22,400. is not good.

Governor Gavin Newsom opens vaccinations to all California residents over the age of 16 on Friday. This will add millions of eligible people, just as the overall vaccine supply is expected to drop by 15% due to the manufacturing shortage of J&J. Aggregate supply is expected to drop a further 5% next week.

Now, those overall numbers will be further reduced as J&J is taken out of the equation altogether.

County health officials predicted Johnson & Johnson vaccine supplies would increase again in the coming weeks – but new questions could now change plans.

According to a joint statement by the Food and Drug Administration and the US Centers for Disease Control, the federal government recommends an immediate hiatus in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine across the country after the six US recipients – all women ages 18 and 48 – developed severe blood clots within two weeks of vaccination.

A woman died and a second woman from Nebraska was hospitalized in critical condition.

“We recommend a pause in the use of this vaccine as a precaution,” said Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the FDA, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, senior deputy director of the CDC. .

“This is important, in part, to ensure that the healthcare provider community is aware of the potential of these adverse events and can plan for appropriate recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of clot.” blood.

The statement also pointed out that adverse reactions to the J&J vaccine “appear to be extremely rare”.

“More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the United States,” the statement said. “The CDC and the FDA are reviewing data from six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.

“In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) has been seen in association with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred in women aged 18 to 48 and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

“The treatment for this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might usually be given. Usually a blood thinner called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this context, the administration of heparin can be dangerous and alternative treatments should be given. “

The CDC will convene a meeting of its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to further examine these cases and assess their potential importance.

Dr Anthony Fauci addressed the news today during the White House Covid-19 Response Team televised update. “One of the questions that comes up quite frequently is, ‘Does this have anything to do with how well the vaccine works?’ So we know that there have so far been 6.85 million doses of J&J distributed in the United States. Someone who had it maybe a month or two ago might say, “What does this mean to me? It really doesn’t mean anything. Everything is fine, because if you look at the time frame in which this happens, it is quite tight – a few days, six to 13 days, from the time of vaccination.

“The next question is one that we are all obviously aware of: What impact is this going to have on people’s attitudes towards vaccines in general?” Continued Fauci. “So you may know that there are now 120 million people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Most of it – subtract 6.85 million – is in the messenger RNA of Pfizer and Moderna. There was no warning signal from them. So you are talking about tens, tens and tens of millions of people who have received vaccines without adverse effects. It’s a really rare event, if you look at what we know so far. “

Published reports cited a statement from Johnson & Johnson as saying, “At this time, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events” and the company’s vaccine.

“We continue to work closely with experts and regulators to assess the data and support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public,” the statement added.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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