1 Nevadan among cases of serious reaction to J&J vaccine
RENO, Nev. (AP) — State health officials said they learned Wednesday that a Nevadan is one of the six people nationally who have reported serious reactions to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Officials for the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services had said when they announced Tuesday that they were stopping use of that vaccine that no Nevadans were among the six cases the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating.
Meghin Delaney, communications director for Gov. Steve Sisolak and the state’s COVID-19 response team, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon they weren’t informed of the reported reaction in Nevada until a meeting earlier in the day of the public federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services officials are reaching out to their federal partners for more information about why the report wasn’t provided to the state earlier, she said.
The FDA and CDC said Tuesday they were investigating reports people had experienced serious reactions, including unusual blood clots, six to 13 days after receiving the one-shot dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One person died.
Federal officials said Wednesday it’s not clear if the exceedingly rare reports — so far, six cases out of more than 7 million inoculations in the U.S. — really are linked to the J&J vaccine. But the government recommended a pause in J&J vaccinations on Tuesday, just a week after European regulators declared that such clots are a rare but possible risk with the AstraZeneca vaccine, a shot made in a similar way but not yet approved for use in the U.S.
Nevada officials said Tuesday that suspending use of that vaccine statewide should not affect ongoing vaccination efforts because only about 4% of the nearly 1.55 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Nevada to date have been Johnson & Johnson. Most have been Moderna and Pfizer.
The Nevada Legislature, which is set to reopen to the public Thursday, announced plans last week to offer rapid testing as well as the J&J vaccine in an adjacent parking lot to prospective visitors considering meeting with lawmakers or attending committee hearings in-person.
On Tuesday, Legislative Counsel Bureau Director Brenda Erdoes said the state’s decision did not affect the Legislature’s reopening plan.
Staff members had cancelled Thursday appointments and secured doses of the Moderna vaccine for people with Friday appointments. Erdoes said she hopes to continue to offer Moderna doses until the J&J vaccine is again cleared for use.
Sam Metz, a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative, contributed to this report from Carson City. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues