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Johnson & Johnson Pause Prompts Methuen To Cancel 600-Person COVID Vaccine Clinic

METHUEN (CBS) – A COVID vaccine clinic scheduled for Tuesday in Methuen was canceled after the CDC and FDA recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The pause comes after six reported cases of a "rare and severe" type of blood clot in women who have received the single-dose vaccine. None of the cases are in Massachusetts.

Methuen was scheduled to give out more than 600 Johnson & Johnson vaccines Tuesday. The city said it will not allow the clinic to give Johnson & Johnson shots until the pause is lifted.

The site was busy all day as people showed up, not realizing the federal government's pause was immediate.

"It's a little bit of an inconvenience luckily today is my day off, but you can't be giving out a vaccine that isn't safe," said Greg Mcerive.

Methuen Mayor Neil Perry said the city is working with Holy Family Hospital to help get the 600 people who had appointments Tuesday, different vaccines at a later date. They should receive an email about what to do next.

Perry is worried about the long-term effects on the vaccination process.

"While the facts are being accessed here in the Johnson & Johnson, if there is no increase in the number of Moderna vaccines that I get in the city it's going to have an impact," he said.

The pause is preventing J&J clinics all over the state like one the Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative had set for Thursday. Instead, appointments are now being offered for Pfizer shots this weekend.

"One of the advantages of having the local clinic is we have the ability to reach out to our local folks and offer them the ability to pivot to get something different if that's what they so choose," said Amesbury Fire Chief Ken Berkenbush.

Molly Scannell already received the Johnson and Johnson shot. She's concerned after hearing Tuesday's announcement and already emailed her cardiologist.

"It was alarming to me. I have a clotting history so it definitely gave me some movements of terror," said Scannell.

A vaccine clinic in Methuen will be held Friday as scheduled for people receiving their second dose of the Moderna vaccine, which has not reported any clotting issues.

For more information, call the mayor's office at (978) 9830-8505.

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