Louisiana Department of Health pauses distribution of all Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Governor John Bel Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health are joining the Federal Drug Administration to put a pause on administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Today’s pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is out of an abundance of caution. This morning, I had a call with White House officials and other governors to discuss this issue as we work to safely get as many Louisianans 16 and older vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible. While I understand that this news may be concerning, I remain committed to working alongside public health experts to make sure people can get the answers they need to make an informed decision,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Right now, there are two safe and effective vaccines – Pfizer and Moderna – available and being administered in Louisiana and I encourage everyone in Louisiana to keep their appointments and to take advantage of the vaccines we have available. Nearly one million Louisianans have already completed their vaccinations against COVID-19. There have been around 85,000 Johnson and Johnson doses administered in Louisiana and no reported cases of this rare blood clot that we are aware of. In the short-term, this means some community vaccination events may have to be rescheduled or shifted to use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for now and working with the team from the Louisiana Department of Health and health care officials, we will continue the important work of administering vaccines,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

According to LDH, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine makes up 3.7 percent of the states vaccines administered.

Dr. Rachel Kermins at Baton Rouge General says if you have received the Johnson & Johnson dose in the past three weeks look out for the following:

“If people are having any sort of headache, blurry vision, concentration problems. You can also get it in your lungs. We also want to know if you are getting shortness of breath,” she said.

Local health administrations including Care South and Ochsner have opted out from using the J&J vaccine and will use Moderna or Pfizer.

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