New York paused Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations Tuesday and will honor all such appointments with the Pfizer vaccine instead at state mass vaccination sites, following a federal recommendation to suspend rollout after several instances of severe blood clots in recipients.
“Today the CDC and FDA issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” Dr. Howard Zucker, New York’s health commissioner, said in a release posted Tuesday.
“New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps,” Zucker said. “All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to Twitter shortly after the announcement to say that those who had planned to receive the J&J vaccine do not need to cancel appointments.
“IMPORTANT: If you have an appointment TODAY at a State-run mass vaccination site for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will be offered the Pfizer vaccine instead,” Cuomo wrote in the Tweet. “You do NOT need to cancel your appointment.”
The health commissioner reiterated language from the FDA, saying the adverse events appear to be “extremely rare,” and said he would update New Yorkers as more information comes to light.
According to the FDA, there have been six reported cases of the rare and severe type of blood clot in over 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine recipients.
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement on the matter Tuesday, adding it was also working with European authorities to ” proactively delay the rollout” of the jab across Europe too.
“The health authorities advise that people who have received our COVID-19 vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” per the company statement.
Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.
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