The effort to vaccinate North Texans against COVID-19 is taking a new turn Tuesday following new federal guidance concerning the use of the shot manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The clots were observed in the sinuses of the brain along with reduced platelet counts -- making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially "dangerous."
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S. and are not affected by the pause.
North Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Info
Following the announcement, the Texas Department of State Health Services says vaccine providers across the state are asked to stop administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
None of the cases of blood clots reported so far have occurred in Texas, where more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered, DSHS said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued the following statement Tuesday.
"The State of Texas is working in tandem with the federal government and vaccine providers to temporarily pause all administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While no cases of blood clots have been reported in Texas, we are taking the reports of rare adverse effects seriously and are working to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines administered in our state continue to be safe and effective. I urge Texans who do experience adverse reactions, such as severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccination, to contact their health care providers or call 2-1-1 to receive a referral for a health care provider. Vaccines are a crucial tool to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and remain the most effective way to combat the virus in our communities. I continue to encourage Texans who wish to receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines to sign up."
Texas has not been notified of any change in vaccine distribution, according to the Department of State Health Services. About 32% of the population in Texas is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Almost 20% of Texas residents are fully vaccinated.
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
Vaccine providers are being asked by DSHS to continue storing the vaccine as necessary and forward any reports of adverse reactions from patients to the state's record-keeping system.
If you think you've been injured by a vaccine, find out what to do here.
In North Texas, several events were scheduled this week involving the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Below is a list of decisions and updates from vaccine providers across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced that Moderna and Pfizer vaccines will replace Johnson & Johnson doses scheduled to be administered Tuesday at the county's Fair Park mega site.
An effort to provide COVID-19 vaccines to homebound seniors and disabled adults in Dallas County is being paused Tuesday.
"The City of Dallas and the Visiting Nurses Association of Texas (VNA) were scheduled to start in-home vaccinations today. However, Tuesday morning, the FDA and the CDC recommended we postpone distributing the vaccine," the city announced Tuesday morning. "Both agencies confirmed this course of action due to clotting incidents with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Based on this guidance, the City will pause its in-home vaccine roll out until further notice."
"We will not administer J&J today based on FDA/CDC guidance. We are cancelling the event this afternoon and will continue to provide Moderna at our PH Clinic for those 60+ on a walk in basis and for anyone at the event on Saturday," a city spokesman said.
The Arlington Fire Department says it is following federal guidance and pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the AT&T Stadium Tuesday. Instead, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be given to those who are due for their second dose.
Fort Worth & Burleson
Fort Worth and Burleson, along with Kroger Health, partnered to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to the homebound clients of Meals On Wheels of Tarrant County. The Fort Worth Fire Department confirmed Tuesday Johnson & Johnson vaccines are being put on hold until further notice.
This is a developing story. Check back and refresh this page for the latest information as we learn more from COVID-19 vaccine providers across Dallas-Fort Worth.
Texas COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution
Data from the Texas Department of State Health Services shows where COVID-19 vaccines have been sent around the state. Click on a marker to find out information about each location. Use the "plus" and "minus" signs below to zoom in and out of the map.
From the Texas DSHS: Availability of COVID-19 vaccines lilsted on this map are based on shipping information and reporting to the DSHS directly by facilities. Please contact providers in advance to confirm vaccination location and hours, that they have vaccine on hand and that you are eligible for vaccination at that site. Not all providers are vaccinating the public or people in all priority groups. Vaccine is available at no charge, regardless of insurance status.