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Idaho Health and Welfare agrees with CDC guidance on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine pause

The department recommends that healthcare providers should stop administering the Janssen vaccine until the CDC issues further guidance.

BOISE, Idaho — With over 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administered to Americans, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Tuesday morning that the agency will recommend a pause on its distribution in order to study rare blood clots reported in six women who received it.

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said the six women experienced blood clots between six and 13 days after receiving the Janssen vaccine. All of the women were between the ages of 18 and 48. One of the six died and another is in critical condition. All the cases remain under investigation.

Of the other 6.8 million J&J vaccine doses administered, the majority have reported no or mild side effects.

Janet Woodcock, the acting commissioner of the FDA, said during a news conference that they expect the pause to last only a few days.

“I’d like to stress these events appear to be extremely rare. However COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority,” she said.

The Gem State's public health agency made its own announcement soon after and recommended that all providers of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine pause administering it and follow the CDC's guidelines.

"In Idaho, a total of 82,500 doses have been distributed, and as of 9:30 a.m. today, 30,673 doses had been administered," the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said in a statement.

Dr. Christina Hahn, the state's top epidemiologist and an infectious disease physician, said Idahoans who had an appointment for the J&J vaccine should contact their provider and seek the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

"The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have not had this issue reported, and we recommend that Idahoans continue with their appointments to receive these critical vaccines," she said in a statement. "We are monitoring it very closely until we learn more."

According to Health and Welfare, none of the six reported cases happened in Idaho.

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