KNAU's Morning Rundown: Wednesday, April 14
ADHS Recommends Pause On J&J Vaccine
The Arizona Department of Health Services on Tuesday recommended a pauseon administration of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.The decision comes after six women experienced blood clots days after receiving the one-dose vaccine; more than 6.8 million people nationwide have received the shot. About 122,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had been administered so far in the state, ADHS estimates.
“While the occurrence of this rare blood clot [is] extremely rare compared to the number of doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered nationwide, we are following the guidance of the CDC and FDA out of an abundance of caution,” Christ said Tuesday.
ADHS encouraged the public to see a doctor if any symptoms arose of leg pain, abdominal pain, severe headaches or shortness of breath. The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines continue to be approved as both effective and safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
Northern AZ Counties, Navajo Nation Echo J&J Vaccine Halt
Officials in Coconino, Yavapai and Mohave counties say a pause is in effect for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and ADHS.
The halt has led to a cancellation of clinics across the northern half of the state. Mohave County officials say only the Moderna vaccine will be administered while the halt is in effect.
The Navajo Nation has also paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine; the Navajo Area Indian Health Service estimates about 4,000 J&J shots had already been distributed on the reservation.
Pause In Effect For Coconino County; Walk-In, Mass Sites Still On Tap
Coconino County health officials will continue to administer the remaining approved COVID-19 vaccines — including walk-in clinics offering the Moderna vaccine. Those doses will be administered today through Friday at Fort Tuthill, and on Thursday outside the county’s Health and Human Services building in Flagstaff. The clinics will not require appointments. A mass vaccination site will open later this month at Northern Arizona University, distributing the Pfizer vaccine to individuals 16 and older.
Nez And Buttigieg Meet
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez says he met Tuesday with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Deputy Assistant Secretary Arlando Teller to discuss transportation opportunities on the reservation. Nez says he submitted the Diné Atiin Bahane, a policy plan that seeks to bolster funding for tribal infrastructure, and increase safety on roads, among other priorities. The Nez-Lizer administration also has requested better maintenance from the regional Bureau of Indian Affairs, which owns 42% of roads on the reservation, tribal officials estimate.
Amid Pandemic Postponement, Hashknife Pony Express Continues
The Hashknife Pony Express is underway this week with more than two-dozen riders, according to event organizers. The annual ride begins in Holbrook and carries pieces of mail on a more-than-200-mile journey ending in Scottsdale. The decades-old tradition typically occurs earlier in the year and was postponed to April amid the pandemic. Former Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans attended Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony. Organizers say riders are set to leave Holbrook this morning and will arrive in Scottsdale by Friday. The Library of Congress estimates about 20,000 letters are delivered through the pony express.