Georgia Department of Health pauses Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘until further notice’

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Health said it will follow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s guidance of pausing usage of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

In a joint statement early Tuesday, the FDA and the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are “recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.”

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Health experts want to investigate six cases of people developing a rare blood clotting issue. More than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the country so far, according to the agencies.

None of the six cases are in individuals vaccinated in Georgia and are unrelated to the reactions reported last week at the Cumming Fairgrounds site.

In a news release Tuesday, the Georgia DPH said the vaccines will be paused “until further notice.”

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“More than 124,000 doses of J&J vaccine have been safely administered in Georgia,” DPH officials said.

Health officials from the Georgia DPH said that if you’ve received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, you should contact health care providers.

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The reported blood clot cases have been extremely rare.

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the statement read, adding that “treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.”

All six people, who were women, were between the ages of 18 and 48. One woman died, according to the CDC and a second is in the hospital in critical condition.