UPDATE: Beshear speaks, LFCHD awaiting federal guidance, UK will ‘pause’ J&J vaccines; continue Pfizer  

This Sept. 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows the investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine appears to protect against symptomatic illness with just one shot – not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. Johnson & Johnson said Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the first single-shot vaccine appears 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It was more protective against severe symptoms, 85%. (Cheryl Gerber/Johnson & Johnson via AP)


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — In an abundance of caution, the University of Kentucky will temporarily pause administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine at the Gatton Student Center site following recommendations Tuesday morning by the federal government.

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Gov. Andy Beshear also addressed the issue saying in a video that Kentuckians should not be scared off from getting vaccinated.

“We are pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until we learn more from the FDA and CDC. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines remain highly effective and safe,” said Beshear, who will give a live update at 11:45 a.m. EDT via Facebook.com/GovAndyBeshear or YouTube.com/GovAndyBeshear .

Meanwhile, the Lexington Fayette County Health Department is awaiting federal announcements expected Wednesday before deciding how to proceed with a scheduled J&J clinic Friday. Appointments for that clinic are being paused.

“A decision about Friday’s Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccination clinic will be made after the federal review of adverse reaction reports is held Wednesday afternoon. Appointments for the clinic will be paused. Any changes to the clinic will be reported directly to anyone with an appointment and updated on our website and social media accounts,” the Health Department said in a statement.

In a statement, UK, which was one of the major sites for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine trial, said vaccines will continue to be administered to those who are scheduled for appointments using the Pfizer two-shot vaccine until further guidance is issued by the federal government about J&J.

The federal government made the recommendations early Tuesday morning after reports that six recipients of the J&J vaccine in other locations in the United States – out of some 6.8 million doses delivered — developed blood clots within about two weeks of receiving the J&J vaccine.

The federal government paused administering the J&J vaccine at its vaccination sites and recommended that state locations do the same.

UK is following that recommendation while further study around the vaccine is conducted.

UK’s other vaccine sites – at Kroger Field, University Health Service, its retail pharmacy and mobile clinic sites – already utilize either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

As more information becomes available, UK and health officials will move quickly to communicate the latest details, acting always in the best interests of the health and safety of the community.

Go to https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/vaccines for the latest information. You may also call 859-218-0111 (UK Health Corps) if you have questions.


WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said it was investigating clots in six women in the days after vaccination, in combination with reduced platelet counts.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the country. U.S. federal distribution channels, including mass vaccination sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!