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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

How Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Pause Affects Greater Cincinnati, NKY

johnson & johnson covid vaccine
David Zalubowski
Syringes filled with Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are loaded into a cooler for distribution Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Denver, CO.

Hamilton County's health commissioner says the pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccine allocations won't hinder vaccine rollout in the region.

The CDC recommended pausing inoculations of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday out of an "abundance of caution" while an investigation is conducted into reports of apparently rare, potentially dangerous blood clots developing after some individuals received the vaccine.

Roughly 45,000 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are shipped to the county every week, while 5,000 doses are from Johnson & Johnson. Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman says the pause will have some impact, but the impact will not be that great.

"We're going to do exactly what we've been doing for the last several months since the end of December, and we're just going to use the vaccine that we have," Kesterman said. "We're going to make appointments as open as possible and we're going to keep doing the work that we're so proud of our community for doing, and that's vaccinating the community."

Kesterman says the CDC and FDA are taking the highest precaution with Johnson & Johnson's vaccine, hence the pause.

"We want to make sure that we have safe vaccine, and to do so they have to be very proactive and understand if there is a correlation between these blood clotting events and the vaccine," Kesterman said. "There is not that guarantee that the correlation exists, but they want to be extra cautious."

Xavier University cancelled Cintas Center appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from April 15-17. Last week, at least 3,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were administered at the student vaccination clinic.

Vaccines In Northern Kentucky

The Northern Kentucky Health Department has administered 2,200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine so far. In a release, the department says it hasn't received any reports of blood clots developing following inoculations.

Newport Independent Schools says it will now offer the Moderna vaccine at its vaccination clinic at Newport Intermediate School on April 17. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced Tuesday morning that Kentucky will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have already been administered in the U.S., alongside tens of millions of doses of vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine received FDA emergency authorization for distribution in February.

This story may be updated.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.