Washington, D.C., will cancel appointments for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations this week after federal health officials recommended pausing use of the single-dose shot, officials say.
The D.C. Health Department notified approximately 1,200 people who had appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccines Tuesday through Saturday to cancel their appointments. Those people will be notified to reschedule their appointments for this week or next.
DC's Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt said about 16,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Nesbitt advised residents who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to see doctor if they are experiencing side effects.
Nesbitt added that due to the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, DC Department of Health will have to delay its homebound outreach program that was supposed to start this week.
The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommend pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after six reports of blood clots.
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects. But six women between the ages of 18 and 48 reported a rare and unusual type of blood clot.
DC Health says all appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been canceled from April 13-17.
“DC Health has informed all of our vaccine providers to temporarily discontinue the use of Johnson & Johnson until the CDC and FDA can meet to discuss further,” the agency said.
About 1,200 individuals are expected to receive a message about the cancellations.
DC Health will reach out to people whose appointments were canceled. Invitations will be sent Wednesday evening to book a new appointment for later this week or next week, DC Health says.
D.C. has been offering Moderna and Pfizer shots in addition to Johnson & Johnson. The FDA and CDC have not made any new recommendations regarding the Moderna or Pfizer shots.
Officials are recommending that people who were already given the J&J vaccine who are experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the shot contact their health care provider.