Florida will be following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday.
The CDC recommended the pause earlier Tuesday while they investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots that occurred after vaccination.
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Six cases of clots were reported among women between the ages of 18 and 48, with one death reported. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
At a news conference in Manatee County, DeSantis said the state would be following the CDC's guidance.
"We're respecting that decision, we're gonna follow that recommendation and monitor what they're doing for the time being," DeSantis said. "I think that what they're doing is out of an abundance of caution, I don't think people should be worried who've already had it, who haven't had any effects, I think it's likely going to be very effective for you."
DeSantis' office confirmed that he received the single-dose J&J vaccine last week, and he said Tuesday that nothing significant related to the vaccine has been reported in Florida.
"We have not seen any significant effects with J&J here in Florida," he said. "I got J&J, I think my arm was sore for 45 minutes and then that was that, and so I think the track record thus far in Florida has been good."
DeSantis said he hopes the pause will be a "speed bump" for the use of the vaccine.
"I don't think people should be freaking out, because if you look at it, I think they've done between 7 and 10 million J&J shots in the United States so far, you've found these six, there's obviously probably some more because you haven't identified any, but it's still a very small number," DeSantis said. "You also have to balance that against how many people are alive today because they had the J&J vaccine. There's no question that it's saved lives already, same with the Pfizer and the Moderna, so that's really really significant."
At the main FEMA vaccination site in Miami-Dade at Miami-Dade College's North Campus Tuesday, word of the pause came as a surprise to some who showed up and found there was barely a line.
The site, which started administering the J&J shot last week, was telling people to go to Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, where Pfizer shots were being given with no appointment necessary.