A vaccine advisory committee adjourned an emergency meeting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wednesday without taking a vote on the next steps for the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met Wednesday to discuss half a dozen instances of a rare reaction to the J&J vaccine. The committee met just a day after the CDC and FDA directed clinics nationwide to pause distribution of the J&J vaccine after six women developed blood clots following their shot.
The advisors were expected to provide direction for continued use of the J&J vaccine after their meeting Wednesday. However, committee members said they did not have enough information to provide further instruction at this time. They did not provide any direction on whether the pause in distribution should be lengthened.
During the meeting, advisors also heard of a seventh case while reviewing data on the extremely rare blood clots, though it is still unclear if the J&J vaccine is responsible for the adverse reaction.
The ACIP will adjourn for a week to 10 days after assessing the data and risks and is expected to make a recommendation following its next meeting.
Despite a pause in J&J distribution, local and state officials are hopeful it will not slow the momentum of California’s robust vaccine rollout. As of Wednesday, 21.5% of Santa Barbara County residents are fully vaccinated, which translates to more than 262,000 doses administered, Dr. Van Do-Reynoso, director of the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, told the Board of Supervisors during a Wednesday meeting.
On Wednesday, Santa Barbara County Public Health officials reported 38 new cases and two new deaths. Both individuals who died were between the ages of 50 and 69, had underlying health conditions and resided in Santa Maria.
Santa Barbara reported 14 new cases, both Lompoc and Santa Maria reported seven new cases, Goleta reported three new cases, the Santa Ynez Valley reported two new cases, and the unincorporated area of Goleta Valley and Gaviota reported one new case. All other areas reported no new infections Wednesday.
The county currently has 156 cases of active COVID-19 infection and a total of 443 deaths.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office announced dwindling cases among inmates and jail staff on Wednesday, reporting just two active cases: one among jail staff and one among the jail population. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Sheriff’s Office reported a total of 217 cases among staff and inmates.