MILWAUKEE- The Milwaukee Health Department expects the decision to temporarily halt distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to hamper at least some of its plans moving forward.
“I’m hopeful the pause will be lifted in the next few weeks and we can continue using it as a strategy,” Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said during a Friday afternoon event with the Milwaukee Press Club.
On Tuesday of this week the Centers for Disease Control recommended the J&J vaccine stop being used after it was linked to six cases of blood clots. To date more than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine have been given out in the United States. Of that 6.8 million, the Department of Health says 168-thousand have been given here in Wisconsin.
Johnson said the fact that the CDC made the recommendation to halt the vaccine is proof that the system works, “I think it’s allowing the FDA to determine how safe it is and it’s just proof that they (vaccines) work.”
As for the doses already administered to people in Milwaukee County, Johnson says it continues to be a work in progress to contact them.
“We have reached out to the organizations that we coordinated the vaccination clinics with,” Johnson said, “and said to them, here are the people we vaccinated at your clinic and here is the information you can give them so they can get a hold of us.”
According to the CDC, the six people who were impacted by the side effects were impacted six to thirteen days after they were vaccinated.