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Local experts weigh in on Johnson & Johnson vaccine and blood clot concerns

This comes after the government paused rollout of Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday.

Posted: Apr 13, 2021 7:01 PM

LANE COUNTY, Ore. -- After the federal government paused the administration of Johnson & Johnson vaccines due to its potential correlation to rare blood clots, local health experts in Lane County are giving insight as to why this may be.


"So far there have been six events out of the 6.8 million Johnson and Johnson doses given out so far. None of them have occurred in Oregon," said PeaceHealth Medical Director of Infection Dr. Robert Pelz. "The AstraZeneca vaccine that's being used in Europe has exactly the same kind of clotting disorder. Both of these are engineered the same way. They use a virus to code the COVID protein."

All six cases of blood clots were within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and all of the individuals were women between the ages of 18 and 48. Health experts say studies do show blood clots occur more frequently in women.

"With AstraZeneca, it's not all women but it's about two-thirds women," said Pelz. "This does seem to be something more common in women but we don't know why."

Lane County Senior Public Health Officer Dr. Patrick Luedtke also weighed in.

"If you look at those background cases, the normal brain blood clots, it's typically exactly what it looks like with this vaccine," said Luedtke. "It's women under 50, especially women who are on birth control pills and maybe also smoke."

Experts also say that if it's been more than three weeks since receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and no symptoms developed, then there should not be any concern of developing blood clots.

A spokesperson from Lane County Public Health said that at least 4,000 Johnson & Johnson doses were administered in Lane County and all the individuals were notified of potential risks. The allocations were given to Bi-Mart stores, the White Bird clinic and other clinics in rural areas that requested them.

Officials also said that they expect the FDA to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine again for future use as early as the next few days. Due to this, any unused Johnson & Johnson doses will most likely be stored for future use.

Local residents weighed in on their thoughts about the vaccine.

"They should still use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because so few people have been bothered by it," said Lane County resident Hal White.

Lane County resident Barbara Foreman disagreed.

"I think if there would be a possibility of it causing a blood clot, it would be best to avoid it," said Foreman.

It has not been determined that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the definite cause for these rare blood clots.

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