Florida's statewide mobile COVID-19 vaccine sites will be postponing shots until further notice. This comes as the FDA and CDC recommended a pause of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots were observed in the sinuses of the brain along with reduced platelet counts — making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.”
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow. The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S. and are not affected by the pause.
The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said, in light of the recent changes, the Tampa Greyhound Track vaccination site will only dispense second doses of Pfizer.
FDOH-Hillsborough also said anyone who got the Johnson & Johnson shot and has developed a headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath three weeks of getting the vaccine should contact their doctor.
County-run vaccine sites in the Tampa Bay area should not be affected as they currently offer the Pfizer vaccine.
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