Active COVID-19 cases decrease slightly

The COVID-19 vaccination clinic to be presented April 17 in Mount Morris by the VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System has been canceled.

The clinic was to have used the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in New York is on hold after federal health officials this week urged vaccination centers across the country to pause their use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six women – one of whom died and another who is in critical condition – developed blood clots within two weeks of vaccination.

Members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said the condition, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), is “extremely rare” after getting the Johnson & Johnson shot. More than 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been administered.

The pause stemmed from an abundance of caution, giving officials time to understand what’s causing the severe type of clotting and prepare health care systems to recognize and treat patients appropriately if more cases appear.

The clinic at the Livingston County Conference Center on Murray Hill Drive was going to be open to anyone who served in the military, their caregivers and spouses.

VA Finger Lakes Healthcare System staff will be reaching out to those individuals who were scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine to reschedule their vaccine appointment.

According to a statement on the VA website, “We’re following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance to pause in providing the Janssen vaccine at this time. This pause is due to a concern about possible rare side effects. Your safety is our top priority.

For more information, go to the CDC website. Read the CDC and FDA statement on the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have a vaccine appointment scheduled, your VA health facility will work with you to determine what to do next.”

The Tuesday announcement is a recommendation – not a mandate – officials said. So, vaccination sites can continue to vaccinate adults with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but people should discuss their risks with their health care providers before receiving their shot.

New York State was among the states that announced they will be following the federal guidance on pausing the shot’s use.

“New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately, today, while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps,” New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said Tuesday in a statement. “All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine.”

Includes reporting from Kate Lisa of Johnson Newspaper Corp, and Tribune News Service.

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