The country’s vaccination campaign is continuing and gaining momentum. Some 22 percent of California’s roughly 40 million people are fully vaccinated, and more are signing up for dates. Rates of Covid-19 cases in the state are at some of their lowest levels since the start of the pandemic.
However, all of this progress was linked to a continuous and regular supply of vaccine doses.
Which means it was deflating enough to wake up Tuesday morning to learn that federal health agencies had called for a hiatus in use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine after six women who had it have received have developed a rare blood clotting disorder.
Experts stressed that the recommendation was made with great caution.
So how does this affect us here in the Golden State? Here’s what you need to know:
Does California Suspend Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccines?
California’s leading epidemiologist Dr Erica Pan said in a statement Tuesday that the state will follow federal guidelines and ask healthcare providers to withhold administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, “until we were getting new directives from health and safety. experts. “
Dr Pan added that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was less than 4% of California’s allocation for the week.
“We don’t expect a significant impact on our immunization allocations,” she said.
State officials have not estimated the length of the hiatus, although federal regulators have said their review will likely only take days – not weeks or months.
Will this affect California’s plan to reopen?
It’s possible, but probably – hopefully – no, state officials said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Twitter that the state vaccines more than three million people per week and that the state was “still on track to fully reopen” on June 15, as his administration had announced in great detail. pump. But the plan depends on the widespread accessibility of vaccines.
[Read about the state’s plan to end its lockdowns.]
Additionally, news of the hiatus comes just before the state is ready to extend eligibility to anyone aged 16 and over on Thursday – a move some experts say will cause frustration as an explosion The demand for doses coincides with a decrease in supplies and puts a strain on an already confusing patchwork of rendezvous systems.
At a press conference in which he signed a law to spend more than half a billion dollars on urgent forest fire protection measures, the governor said that while this week has been affected by the pause, “our medium and long term goals are not affected, due to the abundance of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.” “
How many Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been given in California?
So far, nearly seven million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered in the United States, including, said Mr Newsom, “the one that entered my arm”. In the state, approximately 900,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson have been administered, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Should I be concerned if I have already received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine?
As my colleagues explained in this helpful introduction, less than one in a million Johnson & Johnson vaccines are investigated, and blood clots have yet to be determined to be vaccine-related. .
And pauses like this are common even after vaccines are widely used to further investigate if an unusually large group of some type of medical case presents itself among those who have been vaccinated.
The Food and Drug Administration has recommended that you contact your doctor if you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the past three weeks and experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath.
But you don’t have to worry about mild headaches and other flu symptoms in the first few days after being bitten – these are common and just mean your immune system is building up its defenses. against coronaviruses.
[Read the full explanation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the (tiny) risk of blood clots.]
Will my vaccine appointment be honored?
It should be, but as we reported, the vaccine rollout in California has been fragmented.
Mr Newsom said nearly 9,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine appointments made through the state’s My Turn appointment system are expected to be converted to Moderna or Pfizer doses.
Some clinics, like those in Riverside County, will give people the option of getting a dose of a different vaccine or postponing the date, The Press-Enterprise reported. Los Angeles County said providers will contact individual patients about rescheduling their Johnson & Johnson injections or getting a new appointment to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, according to ABC7.
You may want to try to check with your supplier in advance. Or if you are able to make it to your initial appointment and are ready for a two-dose vaccine, this will probably be your best option.
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Here’s what else to know today
At California Today, we love good romance stories – and we know you probably love it, too.
So we pass on a request from our colleagues who create the Modern Love podcast: they want to hear from you – literally, they want to hear your voice – on how you determine who does what housework during the pandemic.
The podcast is coming back for a new season and they want to hear about the creative (or cumbersome) way you deal with the division of labor at home. Do you flip a coin? Reverse traditional gender roles? Leave passive-aggressive notes? Submit a submission, and you could make it a next episode.
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Jill Cowan grew up in Orange County, graduated from UC Berkeley, and has reported statewide, including the Bay Area, Bakersfield and Los Angeles – but she always wants to see more. Follow here or on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from UC Berkeley.