DeSantis: Florida Will Pause Use of the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

The feds have recommended a "pause" in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The feds have recommended a "pause" in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Photo by Jernej Furman/Flickr
This morning, news broke that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are calling for a temporary suspension of the use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women who were vaccinated developed blood clots. One of the women reportedly died and another has been hospitalized in critical condition.

While those six women represent a tiny fraction of the nearly 7 million people who have received the J&J vaccine, federal authorities said this morning in a press conference that out of an abundance of caution, they believe the pause is necessary to study the potential for adverse side effects. Their review of the vaccine is expected to last "a matter of days."

While most South Florida vaccination sites have been administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, one of the largest — a federal site at Miami Dade College's North Campus — has been offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine since last week. And several pop-up sites have been distributing the J&J jab at one-day events in Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

At a press conference this morning, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state would follow the feds' recommendation and pause the use of the one-shot vaccine.

"We're respecting that decision, we're going to follow that recommendation and monitor what they're doing for the time being," the governor said.

DeSantis noted that he himself received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said that people who have already gotten the shot should not be alarmed.

"I don't think people should be worried who have already had it who haven't had any effects," he said.

The governor noted that while caution seems warranted, "you also have to balance that against how many people are alive today because they had the J&J vaccine. There's no question that it's saved lives already."

During the pause, the Miami Dade College site will suspend administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the Miami Herald. Other sites are expected to follow suit.
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Jessica Lipscomb is news editor of Miami New Times and an enthusiastic Florida Woman. Born and raised in Orlando, she has been a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
Contact: Jessica Lipscomb