Kansas suspends its use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine — here’s what that means for campus clinics

(Photo Illustration by Julie Freijat | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas’ decision to suspend its use of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine over concerns of a rare blood-clotting disorder shouldn’t impact vaccine clinics run through Lafene Health Center, director Jim Parker said.

“No additional Johnson & Johnson vaccines were scheduled to be delivered this week (or subsequent weeks),” Parker said via email.

However, Lafene was actively distributing Johnson and Johnson vaccines earlier this week, and Parker said that over 1,000 Kansas State students, faculty and staff had received the vaccine brand so far. Mostly, Lafene has administered the Moderna vaccine.

“[It’s] important to keep in mind that adverse responses thus far have been very rare,” Parker said. “The recommendation by CDC and FDA to pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is out of an abundance of caution.”

Of the 6.8 million or so people who have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the U.S. so far, only six “developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination,” according to a press release from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Those individuals are all women ages 18 to 48 and no cases of this rare illness have been found in Kansas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for Wednesday where this possible side effect will be discussed. The Food and Drug Administration will also review those findings. In the meantime, the FDA and CDC both advised the suspension of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Lafene and the Riley County Health Department will also meet this week to decide next steps. They will “assess the situation and provide additional guidance, if necessary,” Parker said.

At this time, there are no more appointments available for COVID-19 vaccinations this week through Lafene. K-State’s vaccine quantity varies from week to week because the university receives its allotment from the county health department.

When appointments are available, any university student, faculty or staff member is eligible.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.