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Lucas County halts Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine distribution

Six people in the U.S. reported blood clots after receiving the vaccine.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department has ceased administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six people in the U.S. reported blood clots following their shot.

Gov. Mike DeWine urged all state health departments to pause Johnson & Johnson vaccines Tuesday morning. About 7 million Americans have received the vaccine.

Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said pausing the vaccine is the right move for now.

"We know there have been some possible significant adverse reactions, but it needs to be fleshed out," he said.

RELATED: US recommends 'pause' for Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines over rare clot reports

A vaccine clinic scheduled for Tuesday at the Lucas County Recreation Center will now distribute the Moderna vaccine instead of the previously scheduled J&J. Zgodzinski said anyone with an appointment for Tuesday can still receive a vaccine at their scheduled time.

Those receiving the Moderna today should return May 11 to receive their second dose.

Zgodzinski said he is aware of one person in Lucas County who went to the emergency room after receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but didn't specify if it was for a blood clot. 

RELATED: Michigan to pause use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine per FDA guidance

The county was using the J&J to vaccinate home-bound individuals, but that is also on-hold.

"We're definitely not going to use Johnson & Johnson until we get the clear go-ahead," Zgodzinski said. "I'll reach out to the providers doing in-home vaccinations and find a way to get those people vaccinated with the other vaccines we have."

Zgodzinski said if you received the Johnson & Johnson recently, pay attention to your body. If you feel like you're having an adverse reaction, call your doctor.

"This is how we operate in this country," he said. "We track what's going on, we have to report adverse reactions. There's a postponement because there's something happening we don't really understand. There is no real connection they can find, but there could be. So we'll put this on hold. I think we should all be safe and secure that we're making sure any drug or vaccine out there is safe to take."

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