Gov. Murphy: NJ on track to meet vaccine goals despite J&J pause

New Jersey officials have announced that they will follow the recommendations of the CDC and the FDA to pause the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine following reports of serious blood clotting in some patients.

News 12 Staff

Apr 13, 2021, 9:19 PM

Updated 1,133 days ago

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New Jersey officials have announced that they will follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following reports of serious blood clotting in some patients.
The Murphy administration moved quickly after the announcement and the state Department of Health ordered a stop on all J&J vaccinations statewide, putting the state’s 200,000 doses of the vaccine in cold storage.
But despite the setback, Gov. Phil Murphy says that the state will still meet its vaccination goals.
“Even with this pause, our overall goal of vaccinating 4.7 million adult New Jerseyans by the end of June remains not only in place, but entirely achievable,” Murphy said.
University Hospital president and CEO Dr. Shereef Elnahal says it's not clear whether the J&J vaccine is the primary cause of a condition that six women of 6.8 million vaccinated have reported - excessive clotting in blood vessels of the head.
“We really have to determine what this condition is and whether it's associated with the vaccine,” Elnahal says. “Issues with the Astra Zeneca vaccine in Europe also caused a very similar condition of what we're seeing with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and it was actually determined that condition was not definitively linked to the Astra Zeneca vaccine.”
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On a press call Tuesday morning, leaders with the FDA said issues have not been detected with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“Our partners will be working to reschedule those who had the J&J appointments in the days ahead,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat with the CDC. “This may be a bit bumpy. We want to make sure we’re getting the word out to the public and our providers.”
Elnahal, who served as Gov. Murphy's first health commissioner, says he does not want the pause to increase vaccine skepticism, especially among Newark's Black and brown residents.
“You have a lot of folks that were skeptical for a lot of good historical and even current reasons in the communities we serve. What we have to do is get ahead of this as much as possible, again humbly, the way that we did this initially,” Elnahal says.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the pause and review process should take "days to weeks."


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