HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Western Mass news is your Vaccine Authority getting answers after the single dose Johnson and Johnson COVID vaccines are ordered to stop temporarily in the U.S., including here in Massachusetts.
The pause was announced Tuesday morning following reports of six people developing blood clots.
Signs went up quickly Tuesday morning canceling the vaccine clinic scheduled for Canal Street in Holyoke. They were due to give out the one-dose J&J vaccine.
The Food and Drug Administration said they expect their investigation into these blood clots to last a matter of days.
“My job is requiring it,” Holyoke resident Bryan Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said he had just finished filling out the information required to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine from a Canal Street Clinic in Holyoke when he got a phone call saying it was canceled.
“I was a little surprised, a little bit sad at the same time because I just want to get it done and over with,” Rodriguez said.
That clinic run by Behavioral Health Network one of the thousands halted across the state after the FDA and the CDC recommended pausing that COVID-19 vaccine after six women developed blood clots afterward.
The Behavioral Health network issued a statement on their website saying in part quote, "out of an abundance of caution, we are pausing the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pending additional guidance from the Department of Public Health. At this time, we do not have additional clinics scheduled in Holyoke."
Federal health officials said more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the country, and only six U.S. cases of clots have been discovered.
State health officials said none are known to be linked to Massachusetts.
But what if you already received the one-dose shot and are worried?
Dr. Armando Paez with Baystate Health said there are a few symptoms to look out for.
“If you have received J&J vaccine within three weeks of this, developing symptoms of headache, abdominal pain or leg pain or shortness of breath, you should contact your healthcare provider,” Dr. Paez said.
But if you feel fine, he said there's no protocol being issued to take any type of medication like aspirin.
“At this time, we don't have any specific recommendations,” Dr. Paez explained.
UMass Amherst microbiologist Erika Hamilton said the vaccine was tested on both women and men.
“If there is an extraordinarily rare side effect, it's not going to appear during the regular clinical trials,” Dr. Hamilton said.
But even then, she said that the federal health officials still need to investigate whether the vaccine was actually linked to the clots as the women may have had other health conditions in common.
“If you look at the things that all six of them did, you're going to find a lot of overlap,” Dr. Hamilton said.