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Recently Received Or Scheduled To Get A Johnson & Johnson Vaccine? Here's What You Should Know

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

With federal health officials pausing the administration of Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, officials are urging patience and calm as new concerns are investigated.

Kentucky is heeding CDC and FDA advice and halting use of the J&J vaccine, at least temporarily, while additional safety checks are performed. Officials reported six cases of a rare but severe form of blood clotting potentially linked to the vaccine.

While the risk of the reaction is far lower than those associated with COVID-19 — around 1 in a million based on current known cases — state Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack did outline the symptoms that should raise red flags.

"People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider," he said.

The symptoms have so far appeared only in women between 18-48 and shouldn't be confused with normal side effects, like headaches and muscle soreness, that can coincide with vaccination. Those typically subside within a few days after vaccinations.

As for those already signed up to receive a J&J vaccine, Gov. Andy Beshear says to keep appointments that are more than four or five days out, while the state awaits more information on how long the pause could last. If your shot is scheduled in the next two or three days, the J&J vaccination won't be an option. In that case, Beshear is urging residents to consider and inquire into the Pfizer or Moderna alternatives.

The pause is expected to have the most pronounced impact on independent pharmacies, vaccinations in the corrections system, and efforts to vaccinate populations experiencing homelessness.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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