SANTE FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico will pause administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in response to a federal recommendation stemming from reports of potentially dangerous blood clots, the state Department of Health announced Tuesday.
“New Mexico — like the federal government — is acting out of an abundance of caution,” Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said in a statement. “As we learn more, we will share that information.”
In a joint statement earlier Tuesday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots that occurred several days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. The six cases involved women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death.
More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
In New Mexico, just over 3% of this week's allocation of vaccine doses included J&J. State health officials said that overall, less than 39,000 J&J doses have been administered in New Mexico.
New Mexico health officials said scheduled J&J vaccinations will be paused or changed to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
The Health Department had partnered with Santa Fe County to host a vaccine clinic Wednesday in the town of Edgewood using J&J vaccines. Officials had to scramble Tuesday to replace those vaccines with doses from Moderna. About 500 people were expected to get shots at the clinic.
People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, blurred vision, seizure, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider, the department said.
New Mexico continues to lead the U.S. in vaccine distribution, with close to 35% of residents 16 and older having been fully vaccinated. State data shows more than 52% have received at least one shot.