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Berrien County follows Calhoun, state in pausing Johnson & Johnson vaccine

A dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sits in a sterile room. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

Berrien County health officials announced Tuesday, April 13, 2021, that they would follow a federal recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

A planned clinic on Thursday, April 15, would switch from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to the Moderna vaccine, with a planned date of Thursday, May 13, for participants to receive the second dose.

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare, and there have not been any reported adverse events reported in Berrien County after the administration of the J&J vaccine,” Nicki Britten, health officer at the Berrien County Health Department, said. “COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for all vaccine providers, and we are assured that the data is being reviewed swiftly by the experts.”

Following reports of blood clots in six women who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention opened an investigation. They recommended a temporary pause in administration of the vaccine until more information could be uncovered.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced shortly after that the state would stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and called on the federal government to allocate more Pfizer and Moderna doses to Michigan.

On the same day, the Calhoun County Health Department and the Detroit Health Department both announced they would stop using Johnson & Johnson vaccines until further notice, with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to take their place.