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Hartford HealthCare Stops J&J Vaccines Following Federal Health Agency Concerns

April 13, 2021

Hartford HealthCare is following the guidance of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has halted the use of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. Hartford HealthCare is not currently offering J&J vaccines at any clinics at this time and will only be offering Moderna and Pfizer. Both federal health agencies urged states Tuesday to pause the use of the single-dose J&J, and have stopped using the vaccine at federal sites while they examine the safety issues. Six recipients in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination. As of this morning, Hartford HealthCare has provided 18,857 vaccinations using J&J; 236,370 doses (combined first and second) of Pfizer, and 75,971 combined doses of Moderna. “We have adjusted our vaccine distribution in every one of our vaccine clinics to provide only Pfizer and Moderna products,” said Dr. James Cardon, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Clinical Integration Officer. “As always, safety is our first priority and we immediately followed the guidance of federal health agencies while the health concerns with J&J are being thoroughly investigated.” Almost 7 million people in the United States have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The six recipients who developed the rare blood-clotting disorder were women between 18 and 48 years old. One died and another has been hospitalized in Nebraska in critical condition. The FDA and CDC, in a  joint statement, said anyone who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after the vaccination should contact a healthcare provider. The CDC has scheduled a review of the cases Wednesday at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. "We really need to ensure that the authorities, the CDC and the FDA have  chance to really look in and sort out the questions (about the vaccine)," said Dr. Cardon at a morning media briefing. "Is there a cause and effect between the vaccine and the development of this clotting? We know that things happen. "So when you're looking at just six cases among the millions of those that have been administered, I don't think I would right now say that the vaccine is not safe. There's not any evidence that I would have confidence in making that statement."