A number of vaccine clinics at Ohio colleges have suspended administration of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine following reports of blood clots developing in some patients who have received it.
Kent State University, the University of Dayton, and the University of Akron are among schools that have postponed distribution of the vaccine thus far.
The decision was made after the CDC and FDA announced that they are currently investigating six reported cases of severe blood clots after vaccination.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine called on authorized vaccine providers in his state to temporarily stop using the J&J vaccine because of health concerns.
We are advising all Ohio vaccine providers to temporarily pause using the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) April 13, 2021
Public health departments have been reaching out to those who have received the vaccine, advising them to watch for blood clot symptoms such as headaches, severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, and leg swelling.
Individuals who were able to schedule appointments are encouraged to secure another appointment at a different clinic to receive Moderna, Pfizer, or other COVID-19 vaccines.
Medical Expert Responds to Vaccine Concerns
Executive Dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine Patricia Winokur acknowledges that many people in the US are alarmed by Tuesday’s pause in the administration of the J&J vaccine.
However, she encourages individuals to be patient as infectious disease doctors analyze data concerning the rare blood clot that six female recipients have experienced.
“My guess is this is going to be something that’s more of an autoimmune-type process,” she explained to The Gazette.
“What I can’t tell you exactly is what triggered the body to respond with making antibodies to the platelets. But that’s the physiology of it. It looks like the body has made some type of antibody that’s recognizing a compound the platelets made,” she added.
When asked why women seem to be more affected by the J&J-linked clotting, Winokur responded that women are sometimes more predisposed to autoimmune disorders.
J&J Addresses Vaccine Concerns
Following the suspension of the use of its vaccine, J&J stated that it is aware of the post-vaccination issue recently reported.
While emphasizing that the safety and well-being of patients are its priority, the company revealed that it is now reviewing such cases with European health authorities.
“We have been working closely with medical experts and health authorities, and we strongly support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public,” J&J stated.