Local health officials react Johnson and Johnson vaccine concerns

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With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announcing a hold in the usage of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines after six women across the country developed a rare and severe blood clot, local health officials are urging the public to not panic.

The blood clots occurred in the women – all between the ages of 18 and 48 - between six and 13 days after receiving the vaccine. One of the women died and another is in critical condition.

More than 6.8 million people across the country received the single-dose vaccine and none of the cases of the rare blood clot have happened in Texas.

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In the state, only 500,000 dosages of the vaccine have been administered and only 6,000 of those have been administered in Hidalgo County.

Hidalgo County Health Authority Dr. Ivan Melendez said it would be extremely rare for someone to develop this rare side effect from the vaccine.

“That is a .0000008 percent chance which means that you have less than a 1.2 million chance of being one of these six people," Melendez said.

Only 9,100 doses of the single-dose vaccine were shipped to Cameron County. 

Johnson & Johnson issued a statement saying they're aware of the extremely rare disorder and are working closely with medical experts and health authorities. The CDC and FDA will review the cases and investigate if there is a direct relationship between the blood clots and the vaccine. 

"It gives me a lot of confidence to know the FDA is looking at these types of safety issues and is able to put a pause on things to make sure people understand the risks and the benefits of any medical intervention they take,” Cameron County Health Authority Dr. James Castillo said. 

Both county health authorities agree those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine shouldn’t panic. They should also pay extra attention to any symptoms that could raise a red flag such as severe headaches, numbness in your legs, seizures, leg swelling or abdominal pain. 

Health officials also people should still to get vaccinated - with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines - while the Johnson and Johnson shot is under review. 


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