DALLAS — This story will be updated throughout the day as new information is released.
Vaccine rollout operations across North Texas were impacted Tuesday as U.S. health officials recommended a “pause” of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has asked all vaccine providers in Texas to pause any administration of that particular vaccine following a joint statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommending the pause.
In that joint statement, the agencies said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots were observed in the sinuses of the brain along with reduced platelet counts — making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.”
But, such reactions are still considered extremely rare, according to the FDA. A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the clots and the FDA has launched an investigation into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.
Officials are recommending that people who were given the J&J vaccine who are experiencing severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the shot contact their health care provider.
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.
As news of the vaccine's pause came out Tuesday morning, multiple hubs and providers across North Texas explained operations would be impacted or subsequently paused as they sought alternative vaccine supply to provide Texans.
The city of Dallas had an at-home vaccination program that was set to start Tuesday in collaboration with the Visiting Nurses Association. But the city is pausing its at-home vaccination efforts, with a spokesperson saying they were heeding the recommendations of both the FDA and CDC to postpone distribution.
The city of Garland also announced it would be canceling its mass vaccination event Tuesday at Johnson Stadium that was originally scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m. People scheduled to receive their second Moderna dose at the stadium can still get that vaccine, officials said.
Those 60 and older can receive the Moderna vaccine without an appointment at the Garland Public Health clinic, officials said. Walk-ins are welcome on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Friday between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The Arlington Fire Department said it would not administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at AT&T Stadium on Tuesday in light of the news but would continue second-dose operations for people who have already received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Around 2,200 appointments were canceled as a result, and more rescheduling notices may be sent out, officials said.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said operations at the Fair Park vaccination site would start at 9:30 a.m. following the news, with gates opening at 9 a.m. The site will administer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, he explained, instead of the Johnson & Johnson doses officials there had planned to administer Tuesday.
Denton County and Collin County officials both said their operations would not be affected at this time, as they have yet to receive doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Spokespeople for both Walgreens and CVS told ABC they would immediately pause distribution of the vaccine as well.
A spokesperson for Baylor Scott & White Health said their teams are rescheduling vaccine appointments through the health system's app and patient portal for either the Moderna or Pfizer shot, based on supply.
Around 14.5 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from all manufacturers have been administered so far across Texas, state data shows, with more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered in the state.
None of the blood clot cases that have been reported happened in Texas, state officials said.
White House officials said the pause should not have much of an overall impact on the nationwide vaccine rollout.
"Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up less than 5 percent of the recorded shots in arms in the United States to date," said a statement from Jeff Zients, a White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator. "Based on actions taken by the President earlier this year, the United States has secured enough Pfizer and Moderna doses for 300 million Americans."
Zients statement added they are now working with federal and state agencies to reschedule Americans for a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine if they had been scheduled for a shot from Johnson & Johnson.
Gov. Greg Abbott urged Texans to continue signing up to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in a statement following the Johnson & Johnson news.
"Vaccines are a crucial tool to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and remain the most effective way to combat the virus in our communities," he said.
WFAA Digital Producer Jennifer Prohov contributed to this report.