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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California Tells COVID-Positive Medical Staff to ‘Return to Work Immediately, Without Isolation or Testing’
The Los Angeles Times came out with a piece Wednesday titled, “With hospitals reeling, California tells COVID-positive medical workers to stay on the job.” With more and more patients arriving to the emergency room every day, forced to wait entire days to be seen, there is no one to answer the phones and no one to take out the trash.
Due to the Omicron-fueled surge, healthcare workers are calling out sick in droves, and has “left the medical infrastructure on edge.” As a result, California, and other state’s officials are examining a “Sweeping policy change that allows asymptomatic healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus to return to work immediately, without isolation or testing.”
Currently, the policy will remain in place through February 1st to avoid staffing shortages. The California Department of Public Health said because hospitals are reaching capacity, providing essential care is extremely compromised.
“Given those conditions, the department is providing temporary flexibility to help hospitals and emergency services providers respond to an unprecedented surge and staffing shortages” said the agency.
On Tuesday, nurses and representatives with the SEIU 721 union spoke out against the measure outside the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting in downtown to L.A. The California Nurses Association also said it planning a “day of action” for Thursday to condemn the state’s decision.
“It is absolutely infuriating that Democrats turned our nation upside down, harmed our children and may have even allowed the Democrats to steal an election creating these mandates, only to be forced to throw it all out the window on a whim because they did not work” says Sara Carter
“When President Trump was questioning these things, when I would question these things, when any sane person would question these things, the Democrats tried to make everyone look like they wanted to kill their grandmother and that we were conspiracy theorists” adds Carter.
“Is the situation ideal? No,” said Dr. Robert-Kim Farley, an epidemiologist and infectious-diseases expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Is it the lesser of the two evils of having no one to care for patients, versus having staff caring for them that may have COVID? Yes, it’s the lesser of two evils.”
The L.A. Times adds, “Kim-Farley said the policy is a recognition of the significant strain hospitals are experiencing amid an increased number of patients and decreased number of staff. The chances of transmission from an asymptomatic worker are minimal, he said, particularly since he or she would be practicing precautions, including wearing high-grade medical masks.”
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