COVID on campus

Johnson & Johnson vaccine put on pause

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The news column “COVID on campus” posts relevant COVID-19 news every week for UWEC students.

UW-Eau Claire once again found no new cases of COVID-19 infections among those tested at its new testing location at the McPhee center yesterday.

As of 3:15 p.m. on April 14, there were no new positive cases of COVID-19 among the 192 on-campus students, 164 off-campus students and 49 staff and faculty members tested.

According to the UW-Eau Claire COVID-19 dashboard, there have been 40,938 tests given since Jan. 23. Sixty-seven tests have come back positive since then.

There is currently one student living in isolation on campus. Additionally, there are 11 students on campus living in quarantine.

The Barron County data reports no new positive cases of COVID-19 among the eight weekly student tests and 14 staff and faculty weekly tests given. 

As of 9:25 a.m. on April 12, the information from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department said there are three new positive student-connected cases of COVID-19 as well as no new staff and faculty cases. 

Since September of 2020, there have been a cumulative total of 1,110 positive student-connected cases of COVID-19, an increase of nine cases since the last report of 1,096 cases two weeks ago. Additionally, there have been a total of 47 staff and faculty-connected cases.

In national news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines yesterday, April 13.

The cause of the call to pause the use of the vaccine is due to a rare blood-clotting disorder that showed up among six recipients of the vaccine.

All of the recipients were women between the ages of 18 and 48, according to The New York Times. The illness reportedly developed between six and 13 days after receiving the vaccine.

One of the recipients that experienced symptoms has died while another remains hospitalized at this time.

The CDC and FDA released a statement from Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

According to the statement, a type of blood clot called a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis is seen with this disorder in combination with low blood platelet levels. The statement said that treating this type of blood clot is different from other clots.

“Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots,” the statement said. “In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.”

The CDC planned a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to meet today to review and assess the significance of the six cases.

According to CNN, the panel chose to not vote on whether to revise its past recommendations regarding who should receive the vaccine.

Members of the committee reportedly said there wasn’t enough information to recommend any changes or to suggest extending the pause.

The six cases of the blood disorder are among more than 6.8 million Americans who received the same vaccine with no reported similar symptoms or signs of the disorder.

Spierings can be reached at [email protected]