LUBBOCK, Texas — The Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sent out a recommendation on Tuesday to pause all Johnson & Johnson vaccines in the United States.
The City of Lubbock followed their advice.
According to the FDA and CDC, the recommendation came out of an abundance of caution, after six women developed a rare blood clot.
Katherine Wells, Director of the Lubbock Health Department, said nearly 2,400 people had gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through the health department.
Lupe De Los Santos said she and her family of five were all scheduled to all get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of the convenience of being able to get the shot in one dose.
“The one dose was appealing to me and I was like, ‘All medicines have a chance of something happening to you, so you never know what is going to happen,'” said De Los Santos
De Los Santos and her family decided to get the Moderna vaccine instead because they said they “don’t want to get anyone sick.”
Wells said people who had signed up to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could opt to get the Moderna vaccine instead.
“This is six individuals out of the hundreds of thousands of vaccines that have been administered and we are going to put this pause on, see what’s going on,” said Wells. “Those medical providers will really be looking at the charts and the history and what really happened with those individuals.”
Wells said anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or any other COVID-19 vaccine, should closely monitor symptoms and that questions should be directed to a primary care physician or the Lubbock Health Department.
“I worry it’s going to discourage some [people from getting vaccinated],” said Wells, “But this just goes to show how much data collection is happening, reporting even the smallest possible reaction.”
Oscar Shorten said he had experienced reactions even with the Moderna vaccine, but that it didn’t deter him from getting the second dose.
“Maybe you can wait six months to a year [to get the vaccine] but my daughter is also high-risk,” Shorten said. “She has lung issues and asthma. I think the vaccine is probably the best thing to do if you’re with somebody who is high-risk.”
Wells said all of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be held in safe, refrigerated storage until further notice.