CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports on what some people are saying and doing after getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine before a "pause" was placed on the shot because of recently discovered severe side effects.
BRAD EDWARDS: With that, we say good afternoon. I'm Brad Edwards.
Beginning today, you can no longer get the J&J vaccine, at least for now. Johnson and Johnson halted after six women in the US developed severe side effects. We have live team coverage of what this means if you've had the J&J vaccine or were about to get the J&J vaccine.
We begin with CBS News' Maria Saavedra, live at Chicago State University, which 24 hours ago was exclusively giving out the Johnson and Johnson shot. Marie?
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Brad, with news of this pause, things immediately stopped here at Chicago State. And we spent the day trying to get to the bottom of why. It all comes down to the type of clots that were found in these cases.
By taking this time, it gives the government more time to research it and it gives doctors, and us, more time to recognize it.
- I received the vaccine this past Friday.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: This is Alice, who didn't want to share her last name, but lives in the south suburbs and specifically sought out the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Tuesday morning, the FDA and CDC gave her specific reason to worry.
- I had concern. I had fear. I respect the company for recognizing the potential for harm.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: In a shared statement, the agencies recommended pausing the J&J vaccinations, due to the cases of six women between 18 and 48, with a rare kind of blood clotting 6 to 13 days after their shots.
There is no obvious connection between them, other than they developed cerebral sinus vein thrombosis, which University of Chicago Medicine's Dr. Ken Cohen explained.
KEN COHEN: They're describing patients who've got these blood clots in these draining sinuses of the brain. And so it's a different area than when people are usually thinking about vein clots.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: A different area means a similar, but more delicate tactic, to treat patients. The CDC says providers must know that vaccine history.
KEN COHEN: So we just have to be aware of the potential risks of our therapies and choose our therapies based on that.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Those who received the J&J must know the symptoms to look out for. They are severe headache, leg pain, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath. If you have any of those within three weeks of your one shot, you should see a doctor. If it's been more than a month since your dose, the CDC says the risk is very low.
- I just think that it's added such a level of fear and maybe overreacting. And that's what I'm going to try not to do.
MARIE SAAVEDRA: Still, Alice will keep a close eye on how she's feeling until those three weeks are up.
The head of the FDA said today that this stoppage should only last quote, "a matter of days." Also, now that you've learned all that, please remember that this is so extremely rare, just six cases out of nearly seven million doses already given out.
Here, at Chicago State, we are told that they are moving to Pfizer and will spend the rest of today and into tomorrow rescheduling all of the people that they had to cancel today. Live at Chicago State, Marie Saavedra, CBS 2 News.