Berkeley pauses administration of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Photo of vaccine distribution
Matt Gibson/File

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Following the recent suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine across the U.S., the city of Berkeley announced a pause in the administration of the vaccine in accordance with state and federal recommendations.

On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in the use of the vaccine after six recipients in the U.S. were found to have developed a rare type of blood clotting, which is now under investigation.

The city of Berkeley noted in a press release that the “suspension will not have a significant impact on the City’s current vaccination efforts.”

Currently, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines make up a majority of the city’s scheduled vaccinations and vaccine supply, according to the press release. Additionally, the press release stated that a walk-up clinic had been scheduled to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the week but will instead use the Pfizer vaccine.

The city also advised community members who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to monitor their symptoms. Those who experience severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain and shortness of breath should immediately seek medical attention, according to the press release.

However, the press release noted that side effects are “extremely rare” and if individuals are concerned about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they are encouraged to contact their health care provider for guidance.

“It is important to remember that all three COVID-19 vaccines – including Johnson & Johnson – have been shown to be overwhelmingly safe and effective at preventing COVID-19,” the press release states. “This pause is out of an abundance of caution as data is reviewed about the reported the 6 U.S. cases of blood clotting out of 6.8 million vaccines administered.”

Thao Nguyen is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @tnguyen_dc.