Virginia will temporarily pause all use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as U.S. health officials investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots, officials said Tuesday.
If you have an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you will be contacted to reschedule that appointment, Virginia officials said.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam visited a vaccine clinic in Manassas, Virginia, Tuesday morning and called the pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “a small setback that we will overcome.”
“We’ll continue to use the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Our goal is still to have all Virginians have at least their first dose by the end of May,” the governor said.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots in six women between the ages of 18 and 48.
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.
Virginia will stop administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until the investigation is complete, state vaccination coordinator Dr. Danny Avula said in a statement.
“This pause is reassuring in that it demonstrates that the systems that are in place to monitor vaccine safety are working. We look forward to a thorough review by federal health officials. [In the] Meantime, we will continue Virginia’s vaccine rollout at this time with the other two authorized vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna,” Avula said.
The number of Johnson & Johnson doses available in the state already had dropped significantly. Virginia had 124,000 doses last week and about 15,000 this week.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.