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Ohio health officials fear pause on J&J vaccine will only increase hesitancy in the state

Health leaders worry reports that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could increase blood clots will only worsen hesitancy already experienced in the state.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Health officials in Ohio worry Tuesday's news that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could increase blood clots will only add to vaccine hesitancy already being experienced in the state. 

The FDA and CDC announced an investigation on Tuesday into reports six women had developed blood clots after taking the vaccine. Doctors fear this information could cause Ohioans to cancel their vaccine appointments, or not sign up at all. 

“These cases appear to be extremely rare that the fact the CDC and FDA have raised concerns and pushed the pause button on the basis of these six cases, should give Ohioans great confidence in not only the priority placed on vaccine safety, but also the reliability and transparency of the CDC’s safety monitoring systems,” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, health commissioner for Columbus Public Health.

On average, one in six people who go to the hospital will develop a blood clot, health officials say. In the case of Johnson & Johnson, the number of people with the potential to develop the disorder is one in one million. 

Now that Ohio has paused using the J&J vaccine, the state is shifting Pfizer and Moderna doses to clinics and college campuses.

How long the pause will last could be a few days, to a few weeks, according to Governor Mike DeWine.