CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK/Nexstar) – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice says West Virginia will pause all use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine effective immediately and until further notice.
The governor says this decision was made out of “an abundance of caution” and upon the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendation. According to Justice’s office, the clinics scheduled to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will substitute with doses from another COVID-19 vaccine manufacture while supplies are available.
“The safety of West Virginians is always our first and foremost priority,” Justice said. “This pause will not impact our ability to continue vaccinating West Virginians and is exactly the reason why we stood up our Joint Interagency Task Force led by our West Virginia National Guard. They were absolutely ready for this scenario.”
The CDC and FDA are recommending pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six people in the U.S., all women between ages 18 and 48, developed blood clots within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. The organizations are working to determine if the vaccine and the blood clots are linked. Reports say one of the women has died from a blood clot, and another is in critical condition.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says they have not received any reports through the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System of the “extremely rare” blood-clotting events” in West Virginians who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The WV DHHR says they will continue monitoring for any incidents going forward.