AUSTIN, Texas - Federal health officials are recommending all vaccine providers nationwide pause administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until further notice.
Six women aged 18-48 suffered rare blood clots and one of them even died. Overall, 6.8 million people have already gotten the shot.
In his weekly COVID-19 update, Dr. Mark Escott with Austin Public Health said they will take the government's advice and stop administering the single-dose shot. The Department of State Health Services also urges providers in Texas to do so.
"Austin Public Health has paused the administration of Johnson and Johnson vaccines pending the review from the FDA," said Escott, interim health authority.
The news may be alarming, but some health officials say people shouldn't worry.
"Six people out of hundreds of thousands, actually millions of doses given is not a very high rate of effect," said Dr. Thomas Giordano, chief of infectious diseases at Baylor College of Medicine.
Giordano agrees with halting the shots for now, but he says if the other shots are available near you, it is best to get them if we want to beat COVID-19 any time soon. "I do believe the risk to benefit ratio still favors getting the vaccine. These have been very rare events and COVID is still a very serious disease even in some young people," he said.
"The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been given to probably 10 times as many people as Johnson and Johnson and no signal has emerged for them," said Giordano.
None of the cases of blood clots happened in Texas. Giordano said the numbers prove that Texans can trust the science for the Pfizer and Moderna shots.