SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The CDC has decided to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. because of reports of a rare blood clot issue with a small number of recipients. In response, the South Dakota Health Department has stopped the distribution of the vaccine.
15,743 people in South Dakota have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, including the state’s lone Congressman, Dusty Johnson. The state health department says no one in the state one has reported any serious side effects.
Dr. Mike Wlide, Sanford’s Chief Medical officer says researchers are not even sure the blood clots can be linked to the vaccine.
“Really the question right now is, is this due to the vaccine, or is it really just a reflection of what occurs when you look at 6.8 million people that have received the vaccine,” said Wilde.
All six cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48 and their symptoms developed six to 13 days after receiving the vaccination.
“We’re literally less than a one in a million type of situation that we’re talking about but they are taking it very seriously they want to make sure absolutely clear that they’re not doing something harmful,” said Avera’s Dr. David Basel.
To put the numbers into perspective, the chances of getting a blood clot from a contraceptive pill are .001. The chances of getting a blood clot after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are .00008. The main symptoms for those who suffered a blood clot were a severe headache, leg pain or shortness of breath. Both doctors say their respective emergency rooms are ready to treat these kinds of cases.
Dr. Basel says he hopes the abundance of caution being shown by the CDC will sway those who are not comfortable with the idea of being vaccinated.
“You know I think the fear is that we would dust things under the carpet if adverse effects were showing up, but the fact that such an incredibly rare thing less than one in a million, we’re still taking that super cautious stand in pausing vaccines should give more confidence of the public in the safety of these and just how careful we are being with these vaccines,” said Basel.
Johnson & Johnson issued a statement saying “there is no clear relationship between these rare events” and its vaccine.