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Arkansas Cancels Clinics Offering Johnson & Johnson Vaccine



LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas is joining other states in temporarily halting use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine while a federal review is underway.

The Arkansas Department of Health says vaccination clinics with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are canceled, but ones offering the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines will continue as planned.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual blood clots that occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson urged Arkansans to continue to get vaccinated, and said the state has the supply to meet the demand even with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on pause.

“No one should slow down and say, ‘well, because of this, I’m going to wait,'” Hutchinson said at his weekly briefing on the virus. “Don’t wait, get the vaccine now. It is critically important.”

Arkansas has 63,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on hand, 178,000 doses of Moderna and 245,000 of Pfizer.

Over 31% of the people in Arkansas have gotten at least one dose of a coronavirus shot, while 19% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

The state reported 224 new virus cases on Tuesday, bringing its total since the pandemic began to 332,446. The state’s active cases, meaning ones that don’t include people who have died or recovered, increased by 23 to 1,663.

The state’s COVID-19 deaths rose by eight to 5,673 and hospitalizations dropped by eight to 148.