First Coast Sites Stop Giving Johnson & Johnson Vaccine After CDC, FDA Call For ‘Pause’

Apr 13, 2021

Florida has put a halt to the administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after the CDC and the FDA recommended a “pause” as they investigate reports of very rare, but potentially dangerous blood clots.

The agencies are looking at six reported cases in the U.S., all of them women between 18 and 48, where the blood clot developed six to 13 days after vaccination. More than 6.8 million Americans have been given a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Related: U.S. Recommends Pausing Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns

Following that guidance from the CDC and the FDA, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday morning that he would be suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine throughout the state.

“I don’t think people should be worried who’ve already had it who haven’t had any effects. I think it’s likely going to be very effective for you,” he said. “My hope would be that this is something that is a little bit of a speed bump.”

DeSantis himself got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said the only side effect he had was a sore arm.

The pause led to the cancellation of a Johnson & Johnson vaccination pop-up site at Lutheran Social Services in Jacksonville Tuesday morning.

“We were pretty much ready to go and then everyone’s phone started ringing. They were getting notifications that the FDA had temporarily paused all the Johnson & Johnsons, so after a while they ended up packing up and leaving,” said LSS Director of Development Jennifer Barrett. “So, unfortunately, we were not able to distribute vaccines at LSS today.”

Barrett said it’s possible that the vaccination pop-up site at LSS could be rescheduled for a future date.

The FEMA sponsored vaccination site at the Gateway Mall and its hubs have also stopped offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the time being, though 2nd doses of the Pfizer vaccine will still be administered at these sites.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.