Hays County not issued J&J vaccines 

By Sahar Chmais

Hays County Health Department dodged a bullet on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as federal agencies are calling a temporary halt on the vaccine.

Federal health agencies recommend a pause on the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women developed rare blood clots.
The Hays County Local Health Department (HCLHD) had been waiting to receive the J&J vaccine since FDA approval in early March, but HCLHD has not received any of these vaccines to date. This will not affect the county’s vaccination effort because the county has not been using J&J, said Mike Jones, director of the Emergency Services Office.
“I think it’s kind of a blessing that [Hays County did not get J&J doses] based on the issues with it,” said Jones. The exact correlation is unknown, he added, but it is best that the county steps away from that vaccine until more information is available.
While the county has not given this vaccine to residents, some private medical offices in Hays County began receiving the J&J vaccine since the week of March 8, with the most recent shipment on Monday. Throughout this time period, 18,100 J&J vaccines were received by private medical providers, according to data from the Texas Department of Health and Safety.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) this week to further review these cases and assess their potential significance, according to a CDC and FDA press release. The health agencies recommend the pause on use of the vaccine until the process is complete.
Those who received the vaccine should monitor side effects. The six women who suffered from the blood clots developed the illness within one to three weeks after receiving the vaccine, according to the New York Times. All six women were between the ages of 18 and 48; one woman died and another was hospitalized in critical condition.
“People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” the FDA and CDC press release said. “Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.”

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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