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Colorado pausing Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution after CDC announcement

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced Tuesday that clinics will be pausing distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

This announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to pause the J&J vaccine due to possible complications with blood clots.

"Federal health officials recommended temporarily suspending use of the vaccine after reviewing reports of six individuals in the U.S. who got rare and severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine," CDPHE said in a statement.

The J&J vaccine was one of three being administered in the state; the other two, produced by Moderna and Pfizer, are still being administered at clinics across Colorado.

CDPHE said the impact here in Colorado is small, adding: "The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine makes up only a small portion of Colorado’s weekly vaccine allocation. This week, for example, the state’s Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) allocation is 9,700, compared to nearly 280,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna the state expects to receive this week. Most vaccine clinics will not be significantly affected."

The state's mobile vaccination buses have been using the J&J vaccine, and CDPHE announced that they won't be operating on Tuesday and Wednesday.

It's not clear if any patients in Colorado have had complications with blood clots due to the J&J vaccine, but one clinic outside Denver had to be canceled due to adverse reactions to the J&J vaccine.

If you're scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, the state says you'll receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead, or the vaccine provider will contact you to reschedule your appointment once the CDC and FDA release additional information.

Gov. Jared Polis is also giving an update on the status of COVID-19 in Colorado Tuesday afternoon, and he's expected to talk about the new development regarding the J&J vaccine.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Andrew McMillan

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