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State health officials pause administration of J&J vaccine

April 13, 2021 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health followed the advice of federal authorities on Tuesday and ordered a stop to the administration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

“The Department of Public Health is notifying all Massachusetts providers to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately,” the agency said in a tweet.

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 in the days after vaccination.

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More than 181,000 people in Massachusetts have received the J&J vaccine as of Monday, according to state data.

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.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to discuss the clotting cases. The FDA has launched an investigation into the cause of the clots.

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INTERGENERATIONAL CARE-PANDEMIC

As Massachusetts emerges from the pandemic, the state should focus on creating a system of “intergenerational care,” state Senate President Karen Spilka said Tuesday.

The system would promote “community-based care across all ages, with the goal of making intergenerational care accessible and affordable to all, while supporting the workforce to make it possible,” the Democrat in a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Spilka said she wasn’t entirely sure what a system would look like but said it could include “Intergenerational Care Centers” where individuals could gather information about child care, elder care, and other services for residents at all stages of life.

“Now is the time to be bold and think creatively,” she said. “We have the opportunity, as well as the responsibility, to not only invest in our recovery, but to rethink and rebuild our communities with connection in mind.”

“I refuse to accept an unequal recovery where some of us do just fine, while others take decades to return to a status quo that may not have been so great to begin with,” she added.

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VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS

The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by about 1,400 Tuesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 7.

The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,068 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to about 623,000.

The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.

There were about 710 people reported hospitalized Tuesday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with about 160 in intensive care units.

The average age of those hospitalized was 61. There were an estimated 36,000 people with current active cases of COVID-19 in the state.

There were 9,017 probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths reported in long-term care facilities.

More than 4.6 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts, including more than 2.8 million first doses and more than 1.6 million second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

More than 1.8 million people have been fully immunized.

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THEATER CLOSURE

A downtown Boston movie theater that opened just months before the coronavirus pandemic took hold has apparently closed for good.

ArcLight Cinemas said Monday that it won’t reopen its theaters, which include a 15-screen location at the Hub on Causeway next to TD Garden, The Boston Globe reported.

The California-based company said in a statement on its website that it “does not have a viable way forward,” and would not reopen its theaters, which have been shut for more than a year now. The Boston location opened in November 2019.

It’s the second premium movie house to close downtown Boston in a month, following the ShowPlace Icon in the Seaport in March.