On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a break in using Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine.


© Photo courtesy of FEMA
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a break in using Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

NEWARK, NJ – Federal agencies recommend U.S. agencies curb the distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. For now, however, this has no impact on appointments at a recently opened mass vaccination site in Newark, authorities said.

On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposed a hiatus in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Both agencies are reviewing data regarding six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot reported in the United States after receiving the vaccine.

The FDA reported that more than 6.8 million doses of the New Brunswick-based company’s vaccine had been administered in the US as of Monday

“As a precaution, we recommend pausing the use of this vaccine,” announced the FDA, adding that the adverse events studied appear to be “extremely rare.”

People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of vaccination should see their doctor, according to federal authorities.

On Tuesday, FEMA spokesman Patch announced that the agency would immediately stop using the Johnson & Johnson version in all mobile vaccination units and community vaccination centers. This includes a location at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) in Newark, which opened in late March.

Authorities previously said the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will be given for the first six weeks that the Newark site is open and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be given for the remaining two weeks.

“Currently, the Newark center at NJIT is using the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for the next four weeks, and the break will have no impact on site operations,” said a FEMA spokesman.

The site offers vaccinations for residents of multiple zip codes in Newark, East Orange, Irvington, Orange, and some residents in Bayonne, Harrison, North Bergen, West New York, Guttenberg, Jersey City, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, and Haledon, Plainfield and Elizabeth.

“We are working with our government partners to determine the way forward and find alternative vaccination options for the locations we support,” said a spokesman. “FEMA is committed to achieving the president’s goal of ensuring that a vaccine is available to anyone who wants you.”

#InThisTogether: The 50,000th # COVID19 vaccination was given at the @ NJIT Community Vaccination Center in Newark yesterday. Thank you to our many partners, including @ReadyNJ, @NJDeptofHealth, @AmeriCorps & @USArmyNorth, for working with #StopTheSpread. pic.twitter.com/VXC65vpwpN

– FEMA Region 2 (@ femaregion2) April 9, 2021

Register to get your vaccine from the FEMA website at NJIT at (855) 568-0545 or visit https://t.co/osmIoUIolp pic.twitter.com/i2M0ewxUos today

– City of Newark (@CityofNewarkNJ) April 8, 2021

This article includes reports from Tom Davis, a patch worker

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