LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The state of California halted the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday — on the same day that the city of Los Angeles opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone age 16 and older.
Early Tuesday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration recommended an immediate pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in order to investigate a blood clot issue.
That prompted both the city and county of L.A. to announce they were temporarily halting the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at all their sites. California officials followed suit shortly after.
“Out of an abundance of caution CA will follow the CDC & FDA & temporarily pause use of J&J,” Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted. “J&J is just 4% of CA’s supply from the feds right now. Vaccines are still overwhelmingly safe.”
The FDA and the CDC recommended the pause after six U.S. recipients — all women between the ages of 18 and 48 — developed serious blood clots within two weeks of getting vaccinated.
The city of L.A. said it had only planned to administer about 3,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines Tuesday through small-scale distribution programs, but none at its nine large-scale sites.
An L.A. Fire Department spokesperson told CBSLA that the California State University, Los Angeles super site would be offering people who may have had Johnson & Johnson appointments the option of getting a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, but based on availability.
“If you have an appointment, please, don’t cancel your appointment, we will find a vaccine for you,” L.A. City Councilman Joe Buscaino told CBSLA Tuesday. “It’s important for us to get many people vaccinated, so we can pivot to recovery.”
This development comes as all residents age 16 and over will now be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 at L.A. city-run sites.
L.A. County-run sites will wait until Thursday to expand eligibility to those age 16 and over, when California officially lowers the eligibility age to 16 statewide.
Appointments for the vaccines at city sites can be made here. Although the sites are operated by the city, they are open to any L.A. County resident.
The city operates sites at San Fernando Park, Hansen Dam, Crenshaw Christian Center, Lincoln Park, Pierce College, USC University Park, Los Angeles Southwest College and Dodger Stadium. It also took over operation of the site at Cal State LA from FEMA on Monday.
Dodger Stadium is one of the city-run sites which had been offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Prior to the Johnson & Johnson news, L.A. County’s allocation of vaccine this week was expected to total 323,470, a significant decline from last week. However, there were still expected to be about 500,000 total available doses in the county, thanks to non-county or city providers, such as pharmacies, who receive direct allocations from the state and federal governments.
Health officials say people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the last three weeks should look out for signs like shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain, severe headaches, and leg pain, which could be symptoms of a serious problem.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)