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Homeland Security

New York State

Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Addresses Pause on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

April 13, 2021

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

They announced today that there was an issue on the J&J vaccines. There are three types of vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. Johnson & Johnson is a vaccine I took. It has significant benefits because it's one shot. The other vaccinations are two shots, so somebody such as myself, a little lazy, if I can get away with one shot, I'll take the one shot rather than go for two shots.

They have put a pause federally on Johnson & Johnson because six people had an adverse reaction to Johnson & Johnson. I spoke to Dr. Fauci and Dr. Walensky who is head of the CDC this morning about the situation. We have stopped using Johnson & Johnson in this state and we're going to use Pfizer and Moderna in the meantime.

The situation with Johnson & Johnson is they had six people in the country out of 6.8 million who received the vaccine, so it's roughly one person per million. All six happened to be women. They had blood clots which are serious and they had serious headaches.

The reason they paused the Johnson & Johnson is they want to make sure all health care providers know if a person comes in with these symptoms the normal medication is heparin that they give for a blood clot. That does not work in this situation, so they want to get the word out to all health care providers, if a person comes in, they said they had a vaccine, they have a serious headache, they diagnose a blood clot, you don't use the normal medication, and they have a special protocol for this situation.

But context, it's six people out of 6.8 million — happens to be six women who between days 6 and 13 developed headaches and the federal government I think wisely so said, let's put a pause, let's advise health care workers to be aware of this, and in the meantime we'll use Pfizer and we'll use Moderna, so we're going to be doing the same thing here in New York and then when they finish doing their work on the Johnson & Johnson we'll resume using Johnson & Johnson, but we do have enough Pfizer and we do have enough Moderna vaccination to keep our schedule and to keep those numbers happening.

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