Update on Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause in Alabama

Doctors urge people to stay on top of adverse symptoms post-vaccine

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Doctors are urging people to stay on top of any adverse symptoms if they took the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the last two weeks or so.

The CDC and FDA have called a pause in the distribution of the vaccine.

Doctors tell us this is still very rare. The numbers indicate about 1 in 1.2 million have had this issue, but out of caution, the J&J vaccine is on hold.

Doctors say stay on top of your health and let your own physician know if you have any possible adverse symptoms.

“If you have any issues at all please talk to provider. At this time we feel this is very rare and won’t affect most people at all.” Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said.

MainStreet Family Care just received about 500 doses at each of its 17 clinics in Alabama. They gave out a total of 143 until the national pause. They are urging patients to watch for symptoms.

Dr. Don Williamson with the Alabama Hospital Association says people should not overreact to the pause if they took the vaccine.

“It’s still a rare complication and I understand the probability is less with J&J than oral contraception and smoking,” Williamson said.

Williamson said those who question taking a vaccine should not use this pause as a reason to say no to getting the shot.

“People could say this heightens my concerns about vaccines. It may heighten your concerns about J&J vaccine, but it shouldn’t have any impact on taking any of the RNA vaccines which is either Pfizer or Moderna,” Williamson said.

Those symptoms again are severe headaches, leg pain, and trouble breathing. If this happens, contact your doctor. The advisory committee to the CDC met Wednesday afternoon to discuss what happens next.

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