COLORADO, USA — With two issues related to COVID-19 vaccines in Colorado and preparations underway to move away from the COVID-19 dial system, leaders with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) provided an update Thursday morning.
Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer for CDPHE, said that there are three outcomes that could happen with the Johnson & Johnson / Janssen vaccine after its use was paused following six reported cases of blood clots among women:
- Continuing usage of the vaccine.
- Discontinuing usage of the vaccine.
- Discontinuing usage of the vaccine for certain populations, possibly based on age and/or gender.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices continues to evaluate the data, and a recommendation is expected sometime in the next week.
This week, federal health officials were investigating six cases of blood clots in women who received a Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Those cases prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to recommend pausing the use of the vaccine.
The ultimate decision was left up to states, and leaders in Colorado opted to temporarily stop administering the one-dose vaccine and said clinics scheduled to use it would substitute the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at clinics in the interim.
Despite the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, CO Nat. Guard Brigadier General Scott Sherman, director of the UCC Vaccine Joint Task Force, said the number of daily doses administered continues to rise, recently peaking around 75,000 doses a day.
In total, 2,025,270 Pfizer vaccine doses, 1,887,110 Moderna doses and 279,500 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered. That adds up to nearly 4.2 million cumulative doses distributed, and nearly 3.6 million cumulative doses administered.
Despite signs that Colorado may be entering a 4th COVID wave, Bookman also said it is the correct time to pass control of restrictions to local governments.
However, he urged Coloradans to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and staying home when sick.
Scott Bookman, COVID-19 Incident Commander with CDPHE, also urged continued testing for COVID-19, especially if someone is showing symptoms, but also if not showing symptoms as younger populations increase asymptomatic spread.
Bookman called a situation at Dr. Moma Health and Wellness Clinic in El Paso County, requiring thousands of people to start the vaccination process over unfortunate but, "an extremely isolated incident."
The Dr. Moma clinic had administered 3,933 when it was stopped by the state. CDPHE said more than 3,000 doses were then confiscated from the site.
Just over 1,000 appointments were canceled at that location for April 10 and another 6,000 appointments were scheduled through May 8, CDPHE said.
Bookman said that CDPHE is working with those who were impacted by the situation. He also said that CDPHE will begin regularly inspecting vaccine distribution sites.
Earlier this week, state health leaders announced issues with vaccine distribution at the clinic and said people who received a vaccine dose need to get revaccinated. Health leaders provided the following guidance:
"If you received one dose of Pfizer vaccine at a Dr. Moma vaccination clinic, that dose is considered invalid and you should receive two additional doses of Pfizer vaccine according to the time frames below:
- An additional dose of Pfizer 21 days after your initial invalid Pfizer dose was received at Dr. Moma, and
- Final dose of Pfizer 21 days later (e.g., 21 days after your repeated valid dose)
If you received one dose of Moderna vaccine at a Dr. Moma vaccination clinic, that dose is considered invalid and you should receive two additional doses of Moderna vaccine according to the time frames below:
- An additional dose of Moderna 28 days after your initial invalid Moderna dose was received at Dr. Moma, and
- Final dose of Moderna 28 days later (e.g., 28 days after your repeated valid dose)
If you do not know which vaccine you received at a Dr. Moma vaccination clinic, you should receive two additional doses of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine according to the time frames below:
- An additional dose of Moderna or Pfizer 28 days after your initial invalid mRNA dose was received at Dr. Moma, and
- Final dose of Moderna or Pfizer 28 days later (e.g., 28 days after your repeated valid dose)"
On Friday, the state will transition away from mandatory restrictions with the COVID-19 Dial.
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