Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs and Alderman Russell W. Stamper introduced a Common Council file to "probe" for more information regarding the now paused for use Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
On Tuesday, April 13 federal officials recommended a temporary halt in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports about blood clots in six vaccine recipients surfaced.
“We need information directly from the Health Department to make sure we are being transparent about our vaccination rollout and what the public needs to know about the vaccine itself,” Alderwoman Coggs said.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are reviewing the data of the six recipients.
The file entitled "Communication from the Milwaukee Health Department relating to the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and its plans to follow up with those that have received it given the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to recommend a pause in its use" will be heard by the Steering and Rules Committee when it meets at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, April 19.
“We need to find out how the Health Department is following up with those who received the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine – what information is being shared and what those who have not yet been contacted should expect,” Alderman Stamper said.
During an event with the Milwaukee Press Club on Friday, Milwaukee's Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson said the department reached out to the organizations they worked with to administer the Johnson and Johnson vaccines. Among the groups were the Brewers and homeless shelters.
"Said to them you have X number of people who are vaccinated at your clinic. Here is the information you should share with them and any of them should reach back out to us if they have questions," said Johnson.
The commissioner also noted in the 6 cases that prompted a nationwide pause side effects showed up 6 to 13 days after individuals got their shots. More than 6 million people have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
"It seems to be a pretty short window of time where the most severe side effects could be felt and many cases we're outside of that timeframe already so we're really hopeful that the people who need to get the information have access," Johnson said.
While Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is reviewed, Milwaukee's mobile and community clinics will use Pfizer.