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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services said it will continue a pause on the distribution of Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Dr. Anthony Fauci said the pause could be lifted by the end of the week. 

State continues pause on Johnson and Johnson vaccine, over a quarter of Wisconsinites fully vaccinated

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) said Friday that they will continue the pause on administering Johnson & Johnson vaccines until a federal recommendation is made to lift it. 

On Sunday, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the pause could be lifted by Friday this week.

“I don't want to get ahead of the CDC and the FDA and the advisory committee, but I would imagine that what we will say is: that it would come back and it would come back in some sort of either warning or restriction,” Fauci said on CNN's "State of the Union." 

The decision to pause the distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccines followed the federal review completed by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday, which recommended pausing until the CDC could gather more information on the vaccine and the blood clotting that has been reported.

“We appreciate the level of complexities being considered by this national panel of independent experts in their review of the vaccine, and are working with Wisconsin providers to be aware of these adverse events and how to evaluate and treat patients with the noted symptoms,” said Karen Timberlake, DHS Secretary-designee.

UW-Madison’s University Health Services paused distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Monday, with no impact on Pfizer and Moderna vaccine administration. 

The CDC released a statement Tuesday explaining that there have been six reported cases of individuals experiencing blood clotting after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine among 6.8 million total doses. The reaction has only occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48 between six and 13 days after the vaccination.

“While we are rapidly learning about this new complication, what we know so far is that it is quite rare, and in all cases has been associated with extremely low levels of platelets in the blood,” said DHS Chief Medical Officer in the Bureau of Communicable Diseases Dr. Ryan Westergaard.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continue to be administered throughout the state. As of Sunday, Wisconsin has administered nearly four million vaccine doses. 

Over 40% of residents have received at least one dose, which equals half of the state population for whom the vaccine is authorized, and 27.5% of residents have completed the vaccine series. 

In Dane County, over half of residents have received at least one dose and 35.9% are fully vaccinated.

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Emma Grenzebach

state news writer


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