Kentucky temporarily pauses use of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

April 13, 2021

On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, advised all Kentucky vaccine providers to temporarily pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine.

Early in the morning of April 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended the pause after extremely rare blood clotting conditions developed in six Americans who received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine, out of 6.8 million total Americans who have received it.

“Everyone should still get one of the other two COVID-19 vaccines during this pause. We cannot let this slow us down. The United States is going to get about 1.85 million more doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week. We should be able to make up any loss of appointments,” Gov. Beshear said. “Stay calm – it looks like the risk here from the J&J vaccine is very, very small versus the really significant risk of being harmed by COVID.”

During a media briefing Tuesday morning, Gov. Beshear said the president’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky indicated the chance of developing blood clots after the J&J vaccine was less than 1 in 1 million. In contrast, 1 in 558 Americans has died of COVID-19 in just over 13 months.

The Governor reported 1,586,411 Kentuckians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose so far. Yesterday, the Governor reported that vaccination data would update over the next two to three days after the state’s reporting system completed a security upgrade.

As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers: New cases: 799; New deaths: 3; New audit deaths: 1; and Positivity rate: 3.20%; Total deaths: 6,261; Currently hospitalized: 405; Currently in ICU: 96; Currently on ventilator: 53.