Pennsylvania Dept. of Health extends suspension of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

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FILE – This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Thursday it is extending the suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until at least April 24 or until updated guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA.)

Six women developed rare blood clots within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC is convening an emergency meeting tomorrow of the Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices to further review cases for any details on the significance of this rare occurrence.

“While this announcement is challenging, it highlights the vaccine evaluation process,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “The CDC and the FDA are closely monitoring vaccines for safety and effectiveness, and if there is a cause for concern, they will take action because safety is paramount. This protocol should give all Pennsylvanians confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, and individuals should proceed with getting vaccinated as soon as possible to fight the virus, particularly as our case counts rise.”

Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will continue to be administered as normal. If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are experiencing side effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Department of Health Acting Secretary Alison Beam and Acting Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson will host a virtual media briefing at 2:15 PM. The video will be available above.

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