DETROIT - The city of Detroit and the rest of the state are pausing all of its Johnson & Johnson vaccine administrations this week and will now offer Moderna and Pfizer doses to those scheduled for the shot instead.
The vaccine substitution comes after the U.S. said it would pause administration of the one-shot J&J dose over concerns of blood clotting discovered in six recipients.
The CDC and the FDA also recommended Tuesday that city and state public health departments do the same.
In a statement from the governor's office, her press secretary said they would "follow the FDA’s guidance to temporarily pause the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution, and adapt our vaccine strategy going forward until a further review of the data can be conducted."
"More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S., and these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. However, out of an abundance of caution, we are following recommendations from FDA and CDC and pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Michigan," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. "As we learn more about this from our federal partners, we will update vaccine providers and Michiganders across the state. We encourage everyone to continue making appointments to be vaccinated with the safe and effective Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at this time. These vaccines are the way we are going to end this pandemic as quickly as possible and move toward a sense of normalcy."
According to an MDHHS spokesperson, none of the six cases are Michigan residents.
In its pivot, the city of Detroit is asking anyone with an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to still show up. However, they will instead receive the Moderna vaccine, which requires two shots over a four-week time period.
In Oakland County, which had planned on holding a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Oakland University on Tuesday. A tweet from the college said they would substitute the first dose with Pfizer.
In a statement from Macomb County's Executive, Mark Hackel said the health department would follow the recommendation as well.
"With respect to recent news from the CDC and FDA, the Macomb County Health Department will follow the recommendation to pause the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further guidance is provided. Macomb County will continue its vaccination efforts leveraging Pfizer and Moderna doses, and we will be able to fulfill every scheduled appointment," said Hackel.
Washtenaw County has also announced it is pausing its Johnson and Johnson vaccine administration. Any scheduled vaccines will offer the Pfizer vaccine instead while the clinics that were scheduled to open tomorrow have been canceled.
The timing of the pause arrives at an inopportune time for Michigan and especially Detroit. The state is currently mitigating the worst outbreak in the U.S. and has more hospitalizations than its autumn peak.
In Detroit, which is lagging behind in vaccine coverage, the city had planned on boosting immunity with its Neighborhood Vaccine Week initiative. Public health officials had planned on offering the one-shot J&J vaccine at eight different community locations throughout the week in hopes of making access easier.
That includes Tuesday's clinic, which was scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Randolph Career and Technical Center. Anyone scheduled for the site today will instead get the Moderna shot, the city confirmed with FOX 2 Tuesday morning.
For the rest of the week, the city will use a combination of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at its neighborhood locations.
The side effect that was reported in the Johnson & Johnson recipients occurred in six women within two weeks of receiving the shot. One has died and another is in critical condition.
There have been over 7 million shots of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered in the U.S., which is why the call for a pause in more doses is only a recommendation.
Beaumont's chief infectious disease officer Dr. Matthew Sims told FOX 2 the side effects are very rare, calling it a "one in a million event."
"So we're not sure if this is directly related to the vaccine, indirectly related to the vaccine, we don't know what risk factors they had going into it," he said. "There's a lot more we don't know than we do know."