Wisconsin Watch is a nonprofit newsroom that focuses on government integrity and quality of life issues, and we always provide our news for free.
You can read all of our coronavirus/COVID-19 coverage by signing up for our Wisconsin COVID-19 Update newsletter, and please consider becoming a member to support our nonprofit journalism.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Tuesday instructed vaccine providers statewide to pause distribution of Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine during a federal review of potential rare side effects.
The move followed a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcement that six cases of a severe type of blood clot were reported out of 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses given nationwide. “These adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the statement said.
None of those cases was reported in Wisconsin. Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is among the least-used thus far in the state’s rollout, comprising about 160,000 of nearly 3.6 million shots given statewide.
“We are pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. At this time, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a statement. “Vaccine providers should not administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time, and should hold on to the vaccine until federal review has been completed.”
DHS said Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients should monitor for the following symptoms three weeks after their shot: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath.
U.S. calls for pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccine after rare clotting cases — The New York Times
Federal officials and Evers preserve $70 million a month in food assistance in Wisconsin
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
‘Season of rebirth’: A Madison ER nurse ponders life after the pandemic — Wisconsin Watch/WPR
A vaccine study in college students will help determine when it’s safe to take masks off — The Washington Post
Rock County COVID-19 hospitalizations more than double in one week — Janesville Gazette
Caroline Chen, a health care reporter for ProPublica, offered context about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause on Twitter.
A few thoughts on this morning’s J&J #vax pause.— Caroline Chen (@CarolineYLChen) April 13, 2021
1. If the link is real, it’s so rare, it’s unlikely to have been confirmed in the trials, since trials don’t have millions of ppl. This is why real world monitoring is so important, and I’m glad FDA & CDC are closely watching.
Data to note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Tuesday that 78.5% of Wisconsinites ages 65 and older have gotten at least one dose — as have 37.6% of the state’s overall population. Nearly one in four Wisconsinites is fully vaccinated. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.
Public health officials continue to urge Wisconsinites to wear masks and practice physical distancing until vaccinations are more widely distributed — particularly as infections again are increasing. On Tuesday, the state DHS reported a 7-day average of 794 new cases. The state also reported 10 new COVID-19 deaths, pushing the full toll to 6,690.
WisContext offers this visualization.
Find a vaccine site near you
DHS has this interactive map of vaccine providers across Wisconsin. Vaccinations are generally by appointment only and it may take time to schedule appointments with providers due to limited supplies of vaccines. Curious about how well your county is doing on vaccinations? The Washington Post created this searchable map.
People helping others and showing resilience during this time of anxiety. Send suggestions by tagging us on social media — @wisconsinwatch — or emailing us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Muslims mark second Ramadan of pandemic, local leaders emphasize service to community — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Access to some stories listed in the Wisconsin COVID-19 Update may be limited to subscribers of the news organizations that produced them. We urge our readers to consider supporting these important news outlets by subscribing.