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Newsom says J&J vaccine pause won't affect state reopening | COVID-19 Updates in Northern California

The CDC and FDA's call for a pause occurs after six women developed a rare and severe type of blood clot after receiving the single-shot vaccine.

CALIFORNIA, USA — ABC10 is following the latest coronavirus statistics and vaccine news for the Sacramento region and the state of California.

This blog will be updated throughout the day with the latest COVID-19 news. Click HERE to learn when and where you can sign-up to get the coronavirus vaccine near you.

Updates from April 12 can be found here.

Yolo County opens vaccine eligibility to more people

Yolo County is allowing more people to register for vaccines two days before the state opens vaccine eligibility to those 16 years old and above.

In a press release, Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson said the decision was made because appointments have gone unfilled lately.

“With vaccine supply remaining limited, we didn’t expect to open up appointments to all adults early, but we had appointments for 50+ going unfilled last week," Sisson said. "These safe and effective vaccines are too precious to leave sitting in freezers. The vaccine is our ticket back to normal, and I encourage everyone 16 and older to get vaccinated as soon as they can. The sooner we reach herd immunity, the more protected we all will be against more infectious variant strains.”   

Newsom says state reopening plans not impacted by Johnson & Johnson news 

Gov. Gavin Newsom said vaccinations will open to people 16 and older as scheduled on Thursday and California still plans to lift most pandemic restrictions as announced in mid-June. Nearly 900,000 Californians have received the J&J shot, including the governor. More than 15 million Californians are fully or partially vaccinated.

Four California counties move to less restrictive tiers

Inyo, Kern, Lake and Lassen counties all moved to less restrictive coronavirus reopening tiers on Tuesday. 

Lassen County moved into the least restrictive 'yellow' tier. Kern and Lake County both moved from the 'red' tier to the 'orange' tier. This means that some non-essential businesses can reopen for indoor operations, though capacity would be limited. 

Inyo County moved out of the most restrictive 'purple' tier into 'red,' leaving only Merced County as the last California region in the purple tier. However, the state makes note that Merced County is currently undergoing tier adjudication with the California Department of Public Health. 

California Department of Public Health announces pause of J&J vaccine

Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist, said in a press release that California is "following the FDA and CDC’s recommendation and has directed health care providers to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we receive further direction from health and safety experts.

Pan went on to say in the press release she doesn't expect this to impact the vaccination process in California. 

"In California, less than 4% of our vaccine allocation this week is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.”

Sacramento County will provide Pfizer vaccine instead of Johnson & Johnson for previously schedule appointments

Counties that use the Janssen vaccine are providing updates on how the CDC and FDA's recommendation to pause J&J vaccinations will affect their vaccine clinics and supply. 

Sacramento County said that for people who previously confirmed for appointment using the Janssen vaccine, those appointments will be automatically switched to use the Pfizer vaccine instead. This change will occur at several county clinics including the Tuesday clinic at Luther Burbank High School. 

Those who have already confirmed an appointment with the county do not need to do anything as the change will be automatic. However, due to the now low supply of doses, walk-in appointments will not be available at any Sacramento County clinics today. 

Other counties are also determining the best course of action. 

At Stockton Arena, a spokesperson told ABC10 that, "All scheduled appointments (1000+) today will proceed as planned with alternate vaccine supply," but did not specify which vaccine would be used instead.  

Stanislaus County said in a statement that, "At this time, all Johnson and Johnson vaccine clinics in Stanislaus County will continue as planned with Moderna vaccines." A county spokesperson said that all administration of the vaccine is paused at this time, but that the county will continue to provide updates on vaccine efforts.

Spokesperson for Yolo County Jenny Tan told ABC10, "We have not had any impact from our J&J doses at our COVID clinics," and later clarified that county officials were meeting Tuesday to discuss whether clinics would continue to provide the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

U.S. health agencies suggest pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid reports of rare blood clots 

The Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration is calling for administrators to pause doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.

With more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in arms in the U.S. as of April 12, the agencies are making the recommendation after six cases of a rare and severe blood clot disorder were reported among six women aged between 18 and 48. 

The FDA told ABC10 that this is not a hard mandate, nor is it a revocation of the vaccine by the CDC or FDA, but the decision to continue to administer the vaccine will lie with state and local health officials. 

It is not known at this time how local clinics that provide the Janssen vaccine will respond to the recommendation.

The CDC said in a press release that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet on Wednesday to further review these cases. The FDA will host an audio press conference at 7 a.m. PDT to provide any updates. That video can be found on the FDA's YouTube page.

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