CDC, FDA recommend pause in use of J&J vaccine

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The CDC and the FDA have issued a joint statement recommending a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, following reports of a rare blood clot disorder.

There were six reported instances of a rare, potentially life-threatening disorder, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, all involving women between the ages of 18 and 48 who developed blood clots about two weeks after receiving the vaccine. The disorder causes blood clots in brain’s venous sinuses, preventing blood from draining from the brain.

The most common symptom of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is a severe headache. Less common symptoms can include blurred vision, fainting, loss of control of part of the body, seizures and coma.

Nearly 7 million doses of the vaccine have already been given.

The pause could affect Kentucky’s intention to reach 2.5 million vaccinations within the next six weeks. That number was cited by Gov. Andy Beshear on Monday as the point at which capacity restrictions on the vast majority of public venues would be lifted.

However, Gov. Beshear said he does not believe that will be the case. He said the state still has plenty of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and he expects the pause on Johnson & Johnson to be brief.

The University of Kentucky announced it will temporarily halt use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but will continue to use the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. UK had been administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its Gatton Student Center vaccination site.