To date, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson have been administered in the United States. Of those almost 7 million Americans with the J&J vaccine, 6 women have had blood clots in the days after their vaccination. The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts -- making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially "dangerous."
As a result of the reports, the FDA recommended that all states pause the administering of the vaccine.
Following the recommendation, multiple health departments in Michigan have already paused the planned dispersal of the J&J vaccine, including during clinics planned for Tuesday.
In a statement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's press secretary, the state of Michigan said it will follow the FDA's guidance and temporarily pause the vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
"The safety and health of Michiganders will always come first. We will 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. With this latest development, it’s more important than ever for the federal government to implement a targeted strategy that allocates additional Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to hotspots like Michigan to slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. Governor Whitmer will continue fighting for the vaccines we need to protect Michiganders, so we can get back to normal as soon as possible," said Bobby Leddy, Gov. Whitmer's Press Secretary.
Michigan's largest city paused the vaccine Tuesday morning and, in a statement from Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair, the city says it has enough supply of both Moderna and Pfizer to vaccinate everyone scheduled for Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
"Based on the recommendation from the CDC and FDA, the Detroit Health Department is halting the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice. The city has a sufficient supply of Moderna and Pfizer to vaccinate everyone who had an appointment scheduled this week at the Northwest Activity Center or the neighborhood clinics for a J&J shot. If you were scheduled for a J&J shot and want to keep your same appointment, you will be given the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. You will receive an appointment for your second dose 3-4 weeks later. Appointments at the TCF center and Saturday community centers are unaffected by this announcement. They have always been Pfizer/Moderna."
Oakland County The state's second-largest county had a planned Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic at Oakland University on Tuesday. Instead, similar to Detroit, they'll still hold the clinic but will do the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine instead.
Executive Mark Hackel said the county is heeding the advice of the CDC and FDA as well and is pausing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
"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 in a statement
The city of Warren also announced it would be canceling the planned vaccine distribution at a vaccine fair this week between Thursday and Sunday. Warren said until there is clear evidence that there is no link between the vaccine and blood clotting, it would postpone Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
In Ypsilanti, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer just toured the Eastern Michigan University vaccine clinic on Monday, Washtenaw County will also be pausing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. At a planned clinic at Pierce Lake Elementary in Chelsa on Tuesday, they'll instead administer the Pfizer vaccine.
Two scheduled clinics at EMU and one at Concordia University this week have been postponed. People scheduled for doses those days will be contacted and rescheduled as soon as possible.
"We are stopping all use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we have more information on the few incidents of concern and clear recommendations on future use," says Juan Luis Marquez, MD, MPH, medical director with the Health Department. "This does not change the fact that COVID-19 vaccination overall is safe and effective. Millions have been vaccinated."