Southwest Georgia Health District responds to Johnson & Johnson vaccine halt

Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause
Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause(KGNS)
Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 5:20 PM EDT
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THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) - Southwest Georgia health district has stopped administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Just hours after the FDA reported six known cases of blood clots possibly connected to the J&J vaccine, state health departments put a halt on its use.

In the Southwest Georgia health district, a majority of the 14 public health departments carry the vaccine. Director Dr. Charles Ruis says about 3,000 doses will be stored until further notice, but he does not believe people in the community that have already received the shot have anything to worry about.

“The clots that have developed have all done so within two weeks. So if the person is more than three weeks out from having the Johnson and Johnson, we do not think they have anything to worry about,” said Ruis.

According to the public health director, the six cases that have been reported were all in women. He said there still is not enough information to support that the clots were a direct result of the vaccine, and that there is always a risk when it comes to medical interventions.

“Every time we engage in a medical intervention there’s a certain degree of risk. That includes taking an Aspirin, elective surgeries, any diagnostic tests, and literally driving around town to see a doctor,” said Ruis.

He shared that because there are only a hand full of potentially bad outcomes in in this latest announcement, compared to the millions of people that have not reported negative side effects, he still believes the vaccine is worth it.

The public health departments will administer Moderna in place of J&J until it is decided otherwise. Ruis said he has not heard of any concerns from patients in the Southwest Ga. area that have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, but advises everyone to look out for a few key symptoms.

If you do experience severe headaches, shortness of breath or swelling in the legs and you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you are advised to contact your doctor.

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