Students signing in to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The university has paused their administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. RABIA GURSOY/THE STATESMAN

Stony Brook University has paused its distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to students and employees due to concerns about potential negative side effects.

New York state decided to halt the vaccine’s distribution this morning after both the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended a nationwide pause following six women’s experiences with blood clotting after receiving the vaccine. 

About 38 State University of New York (SUNY) campuses have received a total of 21,000 vaccine doses within the past two weeks in order to vaccinate students, with most doses from Johnson & Johnson. 

Stony Brook received about 1,500 Johnson & Johnson doses. Last week on April 8 and 9, at least 1,000 students and employees received the single-dose vaccination at the Stony Brook Union. Nearly seven million people have received the single-dose vaccine in the U.S., according to data from the CDC.

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Another Johnson & Johnson vaccination opportunity had been scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 at the Walter J. Hawrys Recreation Center, but the event has been canceled in light of recent news.

“Our priority will always be the health and safety of our students and, to that, Stony Brook University will pause use of the J&J vaccine. However, we are continuing to vaccinate our students,” Stony Brook University officials told The Statesman

Two new student vaccination opportunities will be available this weekend. On April 16, the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on April 17, the Moderna vaccine will be distributed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students will receive their second doses on May 7 and 15, respectively.

The FDA and CDC are conducting individual reviews of the vaccine. Further guidance should be provided once the investigations are completed.

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“If any students have concerns, they should certainly contact Student Health Services, or their primary care physician with any questions,” Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Rick Gatteau said. “The most important thing is to monitor the CDC for any updates in terms of what they indicate as any symptoms of concern to be followed up on.”

If you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have questions or concerns, the university recommends calling the Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740. If you are experiencing a severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, or shortness of breath after getting the Johnson & Johnson, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.

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