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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause Threatens Public Health Efforts

Ohio State University clinic manager Paige Blankenship, left, administers one of the first Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Osvaldo Campanella Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
/
Associated Press
Ohio State University clinic manager Paige Blankenship, left, administers one of the first Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to Osvaldo Campanella Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss how the decision to pause giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is challenging the state's efforts to get Ohioans vaccinated.

Press Pause

Ohio Gov. DeWine and state health officials woke up to some bad news on Tuesday morning. Federal authorities urged everyone to stop giving and getting the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC and FDA called it a pause out of an abundance of caution.

Even though there were just six known cases of blood clots out of nearly 7 million doses administered, officials say they urged suspension because they wanted to ensure doctors are aware of the situation and that they could not treat the clots with the conventional drugs.

Ohio immediately followed the federal guidelines and suspended use of the vaccine. The state’s chief medical officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the suspension shows the system works.

The good news is the other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna, have not shown similar side effects.

Ohio was aiming to use the one-shot vaccine to inoculate college students before they graduated or left campus for the summer, but that plan has had to adjust.

But the real fear for public health officials is that this news will fuel even more vaccine reluctance and feed conspiracy theories.

Snollygoster Of The Week: John Boehner

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner is out with a new book, and it has some rough things to say about Rep. Jim Jordan, of Ohio's 4th District, and other Tea Party Republicans.

He also has an audiobook and apparently in some of the outtakes he used bad words to describe Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Boehner allegedly said that Cruz should go f— himself.

Cruz responded that Boehner must have been drinking wine. Boehner was asked if he was. He denied it, saying “No wine [was] consumed during the writing of the book or the recording of the book. It’s one of those internet myths that continues to get propagated.”

However back in February, Boenner tweeted “Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook. You can blame the wine for the expletives.“

And the accompanying photo has Boehner in front of a microphone holding a glass of red wine, just like he’s holding on the cover of his book.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.