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Biden admin pauses distribution of J&J vaccines after six out of 7 million report ‘rare and severe’ blood clots

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The Biden administration paused the distribution of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccinations on Tuesday after six recipients in the United States developed a “rare and severe” disorder involving blood clots after receiving the vaccine.

According to a statement released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed a blood clot within about two weeks of vaccination. One woman died and a second woman has been hospitalized and is in critical condition.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

6.8 million people in the United States have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as of April 12.

“The U.S. CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the FDA said.

“I know that the information we are providing today is going to be very concerning for Americans who have already received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and I want to let you know what we’re doing to learn more and to protect people in the meantime and what you can do to be on the alert,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said during a Tuesday press conference. “There have been six reports of a severe stroke-like illness linked to low platelet counts.”

“For people who recently got the vaccine within the last couple weeks, they should be aware to look for any symptoms,” Schuchat said. “If you received the vaccine and develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness or breath, you should contact your healthcare provider and seek medical treatment.”

“Importantly there are three vaccines available and we are not seeing the clotting events with low platelet counts with the other two vaccines,” Schuchat continued.

Johnson & Johnson said the “safety and well-being of people who use our products” remains the company’s number one priority.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Report: Denver area migrants cost $340 million to shelter, educate

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A report by the free-market Common Sense Institute found the more than 42,000 migrants who have arrived in Denver over the last year and a half have cost the region as much as $340 million. The city of Denver, local school districts, and the region’s health-care system have spent between $216 million and $340 million combined to shelter, feed, clothe, and educate the migrants, and to provide them with emergency medical care.

National Review explains the report builds off a previous report from March that conservatively found that the migrants had cost the region at least $170 million. “Costs are never localized,” said DJ Summers, the institute’s research director. “They expand outward.”

Democratic leaders are being blamed for their welcoming posture toward immigrants generally, and their sanctuary-city policies, which curtail law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration agents. Since late December 2022, at least 42,269 migrants — or “newcomers” as Denver leaders call them — have arrived in the city, adds National Review.

The Common Sense Institute report found that the migrant crisis has also hit local emergency rooms hard with extensive expenses. Since December 2022, migrants have made more than 16,000 visits to metro emergency departments. At an estimated cost of about $3,000 per visit, that has resulted in nearly $48 million in uncompensated care.

Summers said those costs are “stressing existing health care organizations,” but they also indirectly hit residents in their pocketbooks through increased insurance prices.

Metro school districts have endured the biggest financial hit — estimated between $98 million and $222 million — according to the Common Sense Institute report. The large range in costs is due to the difficulties researchers had identifying exactly how many new foreign students are tied to the migrant crisis.

The researchers found that since December 2022, 15,725 foreign students have enrolled in local schools. Of those, 6,929 have come from the five countries most closely identified with the migrant crisis — Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

On average, it costs a little over $14,000 to educate a student for a year in a Denver-area public school, but Summers said migrant students likely cost more.

“They have transportation needs that are different, they have acculturation needs that are going to be different, language assistance needs that are going to be different,” he said. “Many of them might need to get up to speed in curriculum. They might need outside tutoring.”

Earlier this year, Colorado lawmakers approved $24 million in state funding to help school districts statewide plug budget holes related to the migrant students.

Summers said the updated Common Sense Institute tally is likely still missing some costs related to the ongoing migrant crisis.

“There are definitely additional costs. We just don’t have a great way to measure them just yet,” he said, noting legal fees, crime, and unreported business and nonprofit expenses.

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