Coronavirus in Ohio Tuesday update: DeWine discusses impact of J&J vaccine pause

Coronavirus

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine provided updates Tuesday on how Ohio will respond to the federal government’s call to pause administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday, April 13, a total of 1,043,729 (+2,340) cases have been reported since the pandemic began, leading to 54,334 (+167) hospitalizations and 7,562 (+13) ICU admissions. A total of 4,160,582 Ohioans — 35.59% of the state’s population — have started the vaccination process. 

The Department of Health reported an additional 90 deaths, bringing the state total to 18,917. The state is updating the total number of deaths only after death certificates have been processed, usually twice a week.

Shortly after the FDA recommended pausing the COVID-19 vaccine during the morning, DeWine issued a statement asking providers in the state to comply. The vaccine has been linked to blood clots in six of the 6.8 million people who have received it in the United States.  

DeWine said he joined a call with White House officials and was told that the pause was to give the health community time to to recognize any adverse events caused by the vaccine and to report and manage them. He said he was told the pause will last “days to weeks” rather than “weeks to months.”

Providers have been instructed to store and audit their doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine for whenever they are cleared to administer them again.

In Ohio, the Johnson & Johnson vaccines were being routed to colleges and universities in an effort to vaccinate students before the end of spring semester, and also to some of the mass vaccination sites around the state.

DeWine said many of the colleges completed their vaccine program last week but that for some of the larger schools, they were originally supposed to be completed this week. State officials are working to make one of the alternate vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, available instead, and each school is either rescheduling or pausing its student clinics.

Alternate vaccines are also being made available for most of the state’s mass vaccination sites and mobile clinics.

DeWine said about 264,000 Ohioans have gotten the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, accounting for about 6% of everyone who has gotten a shot in Ohio and about 10% of people fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots to be fully effective, compared with one for Johnson & Johnson, meaning follow-up appointments will be required with each.

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