Coronavirus: Pfizer expects to meet US supply target ahead of schedule as authorities halt use of J&J shot – as it happened
US states are shifting gears to offer residents other versions of the Covid-19 vaccine after federal health authorities called for a pause in the rollout of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday they were recommending that providers halt the use of the J&J vaccine, citing six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in people who received it. The US has administered more than 6.8m J&J doses so far.
New Jersey told vaccination sites to cancel or postpone appointments for the J&J vaccine, with the state suspending the rollout “out of an abundance of caution.” The state’s health department said it will work with those sites to administer an alternative two-dose vaccine from Moderna or BioNTech/Pfizer.
In neighbouring New York, officials said people who had signed up to get the single-dose J&J vaccine on Tuesday at mass vaccination sites will be offered the Pfizer jab.
“New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps,” health commissioner Howard Zucker said in a statement.
Connecticut, which informed vaccine providers to either delay J&J vaccinations or offer an alternative dose, said there have been no reported serious adverse events among the roughly 100,000 residents who have received the J&J vaccine.
“Although these events are rare, and none have occurred in Connecticut, the Connecticut Department of Public Health recommends that Covid vaccine providers pause on administration of J&J vaccine for the time being while the FDA and CDC complete their review,” the agency said.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis said the state has “a lot of the Pfizer and Moderna” vaccines and most J&J shots delivered so far have been administered. “In terms of availability, I think you’re still going to have very robust availability of the vaccine,” he said during a press conference.
DeSantis noted that Florida’s expected allotment of J&J doses was already due to drop this week and next. Other states were also set to receive fewer does from J&J following a production mix-up at a plant in Baltimore.
Florida will follow the federal government’s guidance to pause J&J vaccines until it completes its review, according to DeSantis. “I think that what they’re doing is out of an abundance of caution.”
“My hope would be that this is something that is a little bit of a speed bump, and that you would be able to get back” to giving out the vaccine, he added.