DeWine, ODH say paused use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be reassuring to people worried about safety

COLUMBUS — After the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Ohio Department of Health has advised vaccine administrators in the state to do the same.

>>RELATED: Coronavirus: US health agencies call for pause in use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The pause comes as six “extremely rare” blood-clotting events were reported in people who received the J&J vaccine.

In a joint statement by Gov. Mike DeWine, ODH Director Stephanie McCloud and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the ODH called for providers to “temporarily pause” the vaccine’s use while the blood clots are investigated.

“Officials with the Ohio Department of Health are following this situation closely,” a governor’s office spokesperson said in the statement.

The Governor and Ohio health leaders spoke about the announcement during an afternoon news conference.

The following announcements were made during today’s news conference:

  • Gov. Mike DeWine said the pause of the Johnson & Johnson is to help the health community recognize, report and manage the issues with the severe blood clotting.
  • In Ohio, 264,311 of the 4.16 million vaccinations started in the state are the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. That’s about 6.35 percent of the vaccinations given in the state.
  • The mass vaccination site at Dayton Convention Center will be continuing vaccines with the Pfizer vaccine, DeWine said.
  • Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff described the events that led to the pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine as “truly rare events” and added that the FDA/CDC decision should give Ohioans confidence in the system that approves the vaccines for use. “That system works,” he said.
  • DeWine said providers of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been asked to store the vaccines for the time being.
  • The Governor said vaccine clinics at the Wilmington Air Park and at Miami University will be pausing vaccinations this week. The mass vaccination site at the Cintas Center at Xavier University in Cincinnati also will be pausing vaccines.
  • “I have absolute confidence in it,” said Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine about three weeks ago. He said he’s not had any complications from his shot. “Vaccines are safe and effective. They work,” he said.

HOW LOCAL AGENCIES ARE REACTING:

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County has announced it has paused registration for future Johnson & Johnson clinics and did not have anyone scheduled to received that vaccine today. Individuals who have previously made an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with Public Health, will receive further information via email or phone regarding their vaccination options.

Montgomery County had planned on giving about 5,200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.

The University of Dayton and Premier Health has cancelled its Johnson & Johnson clinic that was scheduled for Wednesday on campus until further notice.

“In consultation with our medical advisory panel and in light of the governor’s new advice to pause these vaccines, we are pausing their use for our campus community,” the university said. “The University and its medical advisory panel will continue to monitor developments in the CDC’s examination of six cases involving blood clots in the weeks following use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and advise you to do so as well.”

Wright State Physicians student health clinic also has paused vaccinating students with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its weekly clinics across from campus. Instead, students are able to register for the two-dose Moderna vaccine.

Greene County Public Health has not been offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its general clinics, however they had received a small shipment of the vaccine for a clinic at Wilberforce on Monday. Instead, Greene County will now use Moderna and Pfizer that they have available for the Wilberforce clinic.

Preble County Public Health said it is not impacted as they have not been scheduling anyone for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in over a month.

Kettering Health said none of its clinics are impacted by today’s announcement as they have not been giving the Johnson & Johnson shot.