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Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer weighs in on J&J vaccine

Dr. Khaldun explained the reasoning for the abrupt stop in distribution
(Image from congressional livestream)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 10:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - A speed bump in the covid-19 vaccination rollout today as the CDC is advising health departments everywhere to stop using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. But what about those who have already received it? News10 spoke with someone in that situation.

Flint native Steve Zayac got the J and J vaccine, and says he has mixed emotions now that the CDC and FDA have recommend suspending the use of the one shot COVID-19 vaccine.

“Where am I going to end up?” Zayac asked. “In a COVID ward? Darned if you do and darned if you don’t.”

Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun explained the reasoning for the abrupt stop in J and J vaccine distribution.

Khaldun said, “They identified six cases of something called cerebral venus sinus thrombosis, or blood clots in the brain essentially, and low platelet levels.”

With over 6 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines distributed, many are curious as to why circulation has been halted due to the small amount of cases.

“It has been really important as we rolled out this vaccine across the country that safety has been paramount,” Khaldun said. “If there are any adverse reactions, all of those have been reported at the national level. They identified a potential issue and they alerted the public today about that. So, as they pause and look at the data we’ll get more information.”

Dr. Khaldun is saying this likely isn’t the end of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. “We’ve reached out to all of our providers who have Johnson and Johnson vaccine and we’ve told them, per CDC guidance, they should hold that vaccine. Do not discard it,”

Khaldun said. “It is very likely that the CDC and the FDA will come out with additional guidance on the appropriate ways to use these vaccines and if this is a potential adverse reaction people should be concerned about?”

Sayac said, “To be honest, I have faith in Johnson and Johnson because they’ve been around for years and stuff like this. I think they jumped the gun. For them to pull it, when... I don’t know. I just don’t know how I feel because I don’t know their numbers.”

Health officials are advising anyone who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the past few weeks with symptoms like headaches, difficulty breathing, swelling in the legs or dizziness, to seek medical attention. The health department is hoping to receive further instruction regarding the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the near future.

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