Minnesota Asks Providers to Pause Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, Follow Federal Recommendation

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Minnesota health officials are advising health care providers to follow the federal recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while federal agencies investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots.

Gov. Tim Walz and Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm have scheduled an 11 a.m. news conference at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, the site of the state’s new federally-supported COVID-19 mass vaccination site, which was scheduled to begin administering the J&J vaccine on Wednesday.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating six cases in the U.S. where an individual developed a rare and severe blood clot after receiving the J&J vaccine.

In the meantime, CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the use of the J&J shot. The other two vaccines approved in the U.S. – Moderna and Pfizer – are not affected by the pause.

The Minnesota Department of Health says it is not aware of any cases of blood clots among the over 184,000 Minnesotans who have received the J&J shot, which is about 6.6% of all vaccines administered in the state.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects, the Associated Press reported.

MDH says anyone who received the J&J vaccine who develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.

Meanwhile, the state reported 1,367 new COVID-19 cases and three more deaths Tuesday. All of the people were in their 60s and lived in private homes. The 1,367 new cases were among 15,492 tests, an 8.8% positivity rate.

As of Tuesday, 2,102,859 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 1,425,236 have received both doses.

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