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New Hampshire pauses J&J vaccines, works to replace them

April 13, 2021 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire is following federal recommendations to pause the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual blood clots in six women that occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.

Gov. Chris Sununu, who was among about 12,000 people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, said none of the state-run vaccination sites had been scheduled to administer Johnson & Johnson shots on Tuesday. While some regional public health networks had planned to administer them to homebound populations, the state is working with them to provide Pfizer and Moderna vaccines instead, Sununu said.

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“This news will not slow down New Hampshire,” Sununu said in a statement. “While the federal government has directed a brief pause in the J&J vaccine, the state is already working with our partners to ensure that they have an alternative supply of Pfizer or Moderna to help continue their efforts today.”

Walmart locations that had planned to give Johnson & Johnson vaccines through the federal pharmacy program will be given alternative vaccines by 1 p.m., he said. Those with appointments earlier in the day can go to one of the state-managed sites, instead.

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In other coronavirus developments:

UNH GRADUATION

The University of New Hampshire will require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests for guests attending graduation ceremonies next month.

The university plans to hold seven ceremonies to honor graduates from both last year and the current graduating class. Those earning graduate degrees will be celebrated May 16, the class of 2021 undergraduates will have their ceremonies May 21-22 and the class of 2020 will be honored May 23.

Graduates will be limited to two guests, who will be required to show proof that they are at least two weeks post-vaccine or have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the ceremony.

Officials said plans may change as the dates approach.