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Suspension of J&J vaccine should not slow inoculation drive in Las Vegas

Steve Marcus

Trashelle Miro, an Albertsons pharmacy manager, holds a vial of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at an Albertsons supermarket pharmacy Thursday, March 11, 2021.

The suspension of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine isn’t expected to slow the inoculation drive in Las Vegas, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The district said it has enough of the two-shot Moderna and Pfizer vaccine on hand to cover everyone who would have gotten the single-shot J&J vaccine.

“The Health District and its community partners schedule vaccine appointments based on the allotment received each week, and there will (be) sufficient vaccine supplies to continue to safely vaccinate the community,” the district said in a statement.

It was not clear how long the local stockpile of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine can cover the loss of the J&J product.

Federal officials today recommended a pause in administering the J&J vaccine because a handful of recipients developed a rare type of blood clot.

The Health District said it has stopped using the vaccine at its clinics and advised its community partners to do the same.

Of 1,180,000 doses of vaccine administered so far in Clark County, about 47,000 doses, roughly 4%, have been the J&J variety, according to the Health District.

The J&J vaccine has been available in Clark County since March 9, while the other two came out in mid-December.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended the pause to investigate six cases of blood clots in women that occurred one to three weeks after receiving the J&J vaccine. None of the cases were in Nevada.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered nationwide. A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to review the situation.

“Nevadans should be confident in this process and the work being done to ensure the vaccines are safe and effective,” Nevada Health Response said in a statement.

In Nevada, the single-dose vaccine has been used on two mobile vaccine units traveling in state’s rural, frontier and tribal regions. Updates on the mobile units are pending.

People who have received the J&J vaccine and develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after the shot should contact their doctor.

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