Story at a glance

  • The CDC and FDA on Tuesday recommended states pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine out of abundance of caution due to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in the U.S.
  • In response, CVS Health, Walgreens and Wegmans said they would temporarily stop providing the vaccine and are working to handle scheduled appointments and supply.
  • The reported cases are among the nearly 7 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered across the country so far. Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer account for a vast majority of inoculations.

Drugstores and grocers that have played a key role in giving coronavirus vaccines across the country are hitting pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine in accordance with recommendations from top U.S. health agencies

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday recommended states pause the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine out of abundance of caution due to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in the U.S. 


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The reported cases are among the nearly 7 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered across the country. Vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer account for a vast majority of inoculations.

Nearly 98 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and more than 84 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been administered in the U.S. so far, according to the CDC

In response, CVS Health, Walgreens and Wegmans said they would temporarily stop providing the vaccine and are working to handle scheduled appointments and supply. 

“We continue to offer both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines,” CVS Health said in a statement to Changing America. 

“Due to this pause, we are emailing all customers who have a scheduled appointment to receive a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at CVS Pharmacy to inform them that their appointment is being cancelled. We regret any inconvenience and will follow up with affected customers to reschedule their appointments as soon as possible,” CVS Health said. 

Walgreens said it was immediately suspending the administration of the vaccine at stores and off-site clinics and is rescheduling appointments as well. 

It’s unclear how much of the pharmacy's vaccine supply is from Johnson & Johnson versus Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. 

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is set to meet Wednesday to review the rare cases. 


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Published on Apr 13, 2021