The federal government’s decision to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines on Tuesday is certain to throw a wrench into Maine’s vaccination plans.
The halt came after six women among the millions to receive the vaccine developed an extremely rare blood clot within six to 13 days of getting the single-shot dose. The vaccine has been a relatively small factor in Maine’s overall effort — making up only 5.7 percent of doses administered — but the pause will create challenges in rural areas that have benefited from it.
It is unclear how long the pause may last and what it will mean for the national vaccination effort going forward. Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator, said Tuesday that the federal government may have enough two-shot vaccines to make up for the paused doses. But public health officials are already worried that the pause could cause uncertainty and sow doubt among people already hesitant to get the vaccine.
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