Area counties put the brakes on J&J vaccine

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MID-HUDSON – Following the federal government’s pausing the distribution of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after sickness and  death from it, area counties have halted the use of the product.

In Ulster County, Health Commissioner Dr. Carol Smith said the county was “immediately putting a pause on administering this vaccine while a review is underway.”

She said in Ulster, there have been no residents who have reported a severe reaction to any vaccine that has been administered. “However, any resident that may have a concern regarding a vaccine should reach out to their medical provider.”

Orange County has also hit the pause button. Heath Commissioner Dr. Irina Gelman said more data needs to be analyzed about the vaccine.

“This is six cases that have been reported out of four million doses that have been administered so at this point we really have to learn more about whether this is a correlation or causation effect as far as the John & Johnson vaccine is concerned,” she said.

n Westchester County, the use of the J&J vaccine has also been halted pending further safety information.

All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be honored by the state with Pfizer vaccine.

Westchester will be using Moderna vaccine until further notice.

Dutchess County has also put a pause on the J&J vaccines this week. Persons scheduled to receive those shots have the option of taking another vaccine or wait for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to be back online.