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Inland Counties Pause Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

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Both Riverside and San Bernardino County announced Tuesday April 13 that they are following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration(FDA) recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Jonson vaccine. This follows the report of six patients developing a rare and serious type of blood clot after the one dose shot.

Officials in Riverside and San Bernardino County say county-run clinics this week will instead give the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. People in Riverside County with appointments at mobile health clinics will be offered alternative appointments at fixed sites.

The change is not expected to cause major delays despite counties expanding vaccine eligibility to people age 16 and older last week.

“Our hope is that this pause will be on the order of days as opposed to weeks," said Riverside County Public Health Officer, Dr. Geoffrey Leung at his county board of supervisors meeting. "We apologize for the inconvenience, but safety is our top priority and we want to make sure we are following the guidance from the CDC and the FDA”

For people who have already had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the county recommends following guidance from national experts. People experiencing severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their doctor.

In Riverside County, 21 percent of the population is fully vaccinated followed by San Bernardino County with just over 20 percent, according to the latest county data.