Tuesday evening, officials with the City of El Paso announced that they have stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following today’s recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“For those that have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, there is no reason to be alarmed. We will continue to inform the public about any new developments regarding this vaccine and whether further action is needed,” said City County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “The city and county will not be using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine for now following CDC and FDA recommendation but will continue administering other approved vaccines. It is important to emphasize that vaccines are effective and safe.”
The pause is recommended due to six cases of a very rare condition involving blood clots. The action taken and recommendations given by FDA and CDC are not uncommon and are made in abundance of caution, to review available data, and determine whether the vaccine is the one responsible for this rare condition.
None of the cases of blood clots reported at this time have occurred in El Paso, nor in the State of Texas. To date, the City has administered 1,244 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccines.
Health officials encourage the community when getting vaccinated—regardless of which vaccine was given—to track their symptoms using the CDC‘s V-Safe tool. Instructions about the V-Safe tool is provided when receiving a vaccine with the City.
Officials say the tool allows individuals to quickly advise the CDC of any side effects and is a way the CDC tracks vaccine side effects beyond trial periods. Depending on responses someone from the CDC may contact the individuals who report the side effects.
The City of El Paso will provide updates as they become available. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.
Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System via this link.
The City of El Paso will provide updates as they become available.