The Bulletin Board

State pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

By: - April 14, 2021 6:00 am
A person receives a vaccine

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed an amended version of HB 220. (Getty Images)

(This story has been updated to include additional comments from Gov. Chris Sununu.)

The state is pausing use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who has received it and experienced serious side effects within three weeks is urged to contact their health care provider.

Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is investigating reports of six people in the United States developing a rare disorder involving blood clots within two weeks of receiving the vaccination. Several other states also quickly halted use of the vaccine on Tuesday, including Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

Sununu received his Johnson & Johnson vaccination Saturday. In a call with the White House Tuesday, ABC News reported that Sununu was among a group of governors who warned consequences will follow the abrupt halt of the vaccine. “I think what has to be appreciated is the ability for governors to re-instill confidence after something like this, is 100 times harder than putting the pause on in the first place,” Sununu told the White House.

The CDC recommends calling your health care provider if you experienced severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The governor’s office said the decision to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not slow the state’s vaccination effort.

Anyone scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Walmart locations in New Hampshire can keep their appointments and will instead be given the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, Sununu’s office said.

The state was not scheduled to give the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at any of its sites, although some New Hampshire Regional Public Health Networks were planning to at upcoming clinics and to homebound residents. The one-shot dose makes the Johnson & Johnson vaccine especially useful for hard-to-reach populations like homebound residents and others who cannot travel to a vaccination clinic.

Sununu’s office said the state will be providing them a supply of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine instead.

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Annmarie Timmins
Annmarie Timmins

Senior reporter Annmarie Timmins is a New Hampshire native who covered state government, courts, and social justice issues for the Concord Monitor for 25 years. During her time with the Monitor, she won a Nieman Fellowship to study journalism and mental health courts at Harvard for a year. She has taught journalism at the University of New Hampshire and writing at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.

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