CDC, FDA recommend temporary pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

News broke early this morning about the temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women developed a rare blood clotting disorder. One of those women died, and another is in critical condition. My brother just received this vaccine about a week ago. The advice for people who received the vaccine in the past two weeks is to look out for symptoms such as severe headache, seizure, leg and abdominal pain and shortness of breath. Experts say anyone who got the J&J vaccine more than a month ago should be in the clear. An independent government panel of experts will hold a public meeting tomorrow to review the new information.

This rare blood clotting condition appears to have a similar pattern to effects seen in the Astrazeneca vaccine, which is distributed in other countries. Both these vaccines are adenoviral vector vaccines that use a cold virus to shuttle genetic instructions to direct our immune response. In very rare cases, scientists believe this immune response may be responsible for activating platelets leading to this condition. The goal is to be completely transparent.

For now, if you've been scheduled for a J&J vaccine, expect to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. And health experts say you should continue to make appointments for the other vaccines available if you haven't already. We are staying on top of this story to give you the most up-to-date reliable information possible so you can continue to make the best decisions possible for you and your family. I'll be reporting on this story today starting on Eyewitness News at 4pm.

- Denise Dador, ABC7 Circle of Health Reporter

Johnson & Johnson vaccine context


The temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may not have a huge effect on distribution in the near future. According to data from the CDC, Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses represent less than 4% of all the doses given out in California, compared to about 45% Moderna and 51% Pfizer. Because the Moderna and Pfizer require two doses, the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson is a bit higher, at about 10%, compared to 41% Moderna and 48% Pfizer.

Researchers studying "breakthrough" COVID-19 cases of infection after vaccination


One in four adults in L.A. County are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but public health departments across the country are documenting "breakthrough" cases. These are people who got infected or sick despite being vaccinated. These cases are rare. In Southern California between December and February, researchers found less than 1% of the 36,600 health care workers studied tested positive after two doses plus two weeks to build immunity. But why are we seeing more cases? Doctors say getting vaccinated doesn't mean you can let your guard down. It can take weeks to get some protection from the first dose. We spoke to one college freshman who tested positive for COVID-19 less than a week after her first shot. As she's learned, we all need to protect ourselves pre and post vaccine.

In case you missed it: Orange County to test digital COVID-19 vaccine passport program


The OC Health Care Agency is hoping to help make it safer and give people peace of mind with a digital passport that will prove vaccination status and test results. The agency briefly made the announcement last week, saying it will launch the pilot program this month.

Tracking the vaccine: California by the numbers


Note: We collected this data on the evening of Apr. 12. Some data sources lag by about a day.

Los Angeles County
About 3.8 million people, or roughly 47% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 11. About 2.2 million people, or 27% were fully vaccinated.

In total, the county has administered about 5.7 million doses. Over the last two weeks, it has administered about 1.3 million vaccine doses, an increase of 10% from the roughly 1.2 million doses it administered two weeks before.

Orange County
About 1.2 million people, or roughly 49% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 11. About 699,000 people, or 27% were fully vaccinated.

In total, the county has administered about 1.9 million doses. Over the last two weeks, it has administered about 426,000 vaccine doses, an increase of 14% from the roughly 375,000 doses it administered two weeks before.

Riverside County
About 758,000 people, or roughly 41% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 11. About 426,000 people, or 23% were fully vaccinated.

In total, the county has administered about 1.1 million doses. Over the last two weeks, it has administered about 235,000 vaccine doses, an increase of 1% from the roughly 233,000 doses it administered two weeks before.

San Bernardino County
About 590,000 people, or roughly 36% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 11. About 342,000 people, or 21% were fully vaccinated.

In total, the county has administered about 900,000 doses. Over the last two weeks, it has administered about 191,000 vaccine doses, an increase of 8% from the roughly 177,000 doses it administered two weeks before.

Ventura County
About 331,000 people, or roughly 49% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 11. About 206,000 people, or 31% were fully vaccinated.

In total, the county has administered about 520,000 doses. Over the last two weeks, it has administered about 114,000 vaccine doses, an increase of 12% from the roughly 101,000 doses it administered two weeks before.

Nationwide and Statewide
In the United States, according to CDC data, about 120.8 million people, or roughly 45.9% of the over 16 population were at least partially vaccinated as of Apr. 12. About 74.1 million people, or 28.1% were fully vaccinated.

The same data shows about 15.3 million people, or roughly 49% of the over 16 population in California were at least partially vaccinated. About 8.5 million people, or 27% were fully vaccinated.

This puts California at rank number 11 in terms of the percent of people over 16 at least partially vaccinated, and at rank number 38 in terms of people fully vaccinated.

Sources: County-by-county data comes from the California Department of Public Health, state-by-state data comes from the CDC's COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.

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