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Johnson County sheriff waits to see what's next after vaccine pause amid positive cases

Inmates were to be offered Johnson & Johnson vaccine
Johnson County Jail.JPG
Posted at 1:24 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 13:33:47-04

FRANKLIN — Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess called a pause on the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine a "setback" as the county's jail deals with several COVID-19 cases.

Burgess placed the Johnson County Jail on lockdown Sunday after eight inmates tested positive for COVID-19. Jail officials planned to provide the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for inmates on Monday and Tuesday, but only 58 of the jail's 340 inmates elected to receive it.

The Indiana State Department of Health on Tuesday paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after federal health officials recommended a temporary stop on administering the one-dose shot.

"We're waiting right now," Burgess told WRTV's Rafael Sanchez. "I'm speaking with my medical people to see what direction we're going to go. We don't know if Johnson & Johnson is going to be on hold for a day or how long it's going to be."

Burgess said the majority of inmates who received the vaccine on Monday were men. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, six women developed "rare and severe" blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"We're paying close attention to the 58 that took it," Burgess said. "We're monitoring those inmates currently."

RELATED | Indiana pauses use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at clinics around state | FDA, CDC recommend a pause in use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine | Johnson County sheriff says 282 inmates declined COVID-19 vaccine