HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – After federal health officials “paused” the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, some pharmacies in the Pine Belt are no longer offering the vaccine to patients.
On Wednesday, the Advisory Council for Immunization and Practice held an emergency meeting to address the issue. They decided they were not ready to vote or put any motions on the table to change recommendations for the J&J vaccine. They will not provide any recommendation until they meet again in the next week or ten days, giving members time for more risk benefit and risk refinement analysis has be conducted.
The J&J vaccine was paused of six women developed a rare blood clot disorder after they received their shots. Health officials said the disorder seems to effect women between the ages of 18 and 48. Brian Casey, who is a pharmacist at Freedom Pharmacy in Hattiesburg, suggested that the J&J vaccine could have only been paused for that specific age group.
“Women between the ages of 18 and 48 were all six cases. So there’s still a lot of older people who could be getting it, or men could also get it. They haven’t shown any blood clot issues with them, but even in the women in those age ranges, it’s such a low amount that if we were to pull every birth control that had the same clotting risk, we would have to get rid of a lot of our birth controls,” he said.
People who have received the J&J vaccine make up less than five percent of the total vaccinations in the United States. Leaders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believe the pause was the right decision. The Biden Administration said the U.S. has a sufficient amount of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for citizens.