SoCal clinics pausing use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Southern California vaccination sites are pausing distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for COVID-19 until further notice amid reports of dangerous, but rare, blood clots.

Video Transcript

- Well, now to the pandemic. Distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccines coming to a screeching halt as government regulators investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots. The unusual clots happen 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Local and state health departments have made the decision to suspend that vaccine under the guidance of the US government. Eyewitness News reporter Rob Hayes is live outside of CVS in Burbank with more. Rob.

ROB HAYES: Yeah, federal health officials are hitting the brakes on the Johnson & Johnson vaccines today. Pharmacies like CVS here-- pretty much any outlet that offers vaccines is no longer offering the J&J shots because of that very rare blood clotting issue. The so-called one and done vaccine now none and none. The FDA and CDC hitting the brakes on the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, halting the shots after a dangerous blood clotting issue was observed.

ANTHONY FAUCI: This is a really rare event.

ROB HAYES: Dr. Anthony Fauci today says some 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered across the country. Out of that number, six women aged 18 through 48 have developed the blood clots about a week after receiving the shot. The FDA and CDC want to take a closer look at the J&J vaccine before allowing more to be given out. The Pfizer and Moderna shots, Fauci says, though, are completely safe.

ANTHONY FAUCI: There have been no red flag signals from those. So you're talking about tens and tens and tens of millions of people have received vaccine with no adverse effect.

ROB HAYES: Governor Gavin Newsom today tweeting that the J&J shots make up just 4% of the state's supply, and that the vaccines are overwhelmingly safe. Earlier this month, Newsom received a J&J shot and says it's still important for people to move forward with vaccinations.

GAVIN NEWSOM: This pandemic disease remains deadly. And the way we defeat this disease, the way we turn the page is we get vaccinated.

ROB HAYES: The Los Angeles City vaccination site at Dodger Stadium still up and running this morning. Officials say the 3,000 people scheduled to get J&J shots today will instead be offered a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Some residents already wary of the J&J shots even before today's pause.

NELCY MARIE: It's 70% effective, so it's like-- but I don't know. I don't bother with that vaccine. I'd rather stay with Pfizer or Moderna.

ROB HAYES: And this afternoon, Pfizer's CEO says his company is ramping up production of their vaccine because of the J&J problem, and now will be able to deliver 220 million doses by the end of May.