FITCHBURG, Wis.— A Fitchburg pharmacist, like countless other state-immunizers, being told by officials to hold onto stockpiles of the paused Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccines are refrigerated at Fitchburg Family Pharmacy's where they remain "quarantined."
“[We] put [them] behind a note that basically said, 'Don't use. Waiting for recommendation,'” Dr. Thad Schumacher said.
So far, he has received about 1,000 of the 10 million U.S. Johnson & Johnson shots that are no longer being administered due to a rare potential blood clotting concern.
Meanwhile, UW Health Chief Medical & Safety Officer Dr. Jeff Pothof says if you have taken the shot in the last three weeks, don't immediately grab the bottle of aspirin and think it could help prevent a blood clot.
"Here's the risk, if you know we're looking at an adverse event that may or may not be related to the vaccine, and we're looking at an event rate about one in a million people, now if we take that versus the side effect or complication rate of just simple aspirin, if we put a million people on aspirin right now, way more than one of them is going to have something happened to them, you know GI bleeding, something like that, allergic reactions," Dr. Pothof said.
"So, as a blanket statement, to say that people who have gotten the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should start taking aspirin to try to prevent the blood clot will actually end up harming many more people than it would help," he added.
Meanwhile, Sharps Technologies CEO & Former head of Merck Vaccines for three decades, Dr. Soren Christiansen, expects the investigation to wrap up in just a few weeks.
"If you look at it from the public health perspective, there's no question it should get back on the market, ASAP," Dr. Christiansen said.
However, he says it may take a month to collect enough data from vaccine recipients who may have had these rare reactions.
"Honestly, I don't think it will change the whole recommendation, but it will be a little bit of I want it to be really safe and be sure that there is not something that suddenly pops up," Dr. Christiansen said.