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County Pauses Johnson & Johnson Vaccines As 278 COVID Cases, 2 Deaths Reported

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Cal Fire in Julian, Calif. Feb. 3, 2021.
Matt Hoffman
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccine from Cal Fire in Julian, Calif. Feb. 3, 2021.
San Diego County announced Tuesday morning that it’s pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, following guidance from the federal government. What that means for the city’s vaccination rollout. Plus: a $535 million deal for wildfire prevention in California, examining racial disparities in policing across San Diego County and more of the local news you need.

Following federal guidance, San Diego County stopped administering Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, as county public health officials reported 278 new coronavirus infections and two deaths.

"The health and safety of San Diego County residents is our number one priority, and, in an abundance of caution, we are pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while state and national authorities thoroughly investigate these reports," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County's public health officer.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended states pause use of the one-dose vaccine after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed a "rare and severe" blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, according to a joint statement from the agencies. The women developed the clots six to 13 days after receiving a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One of the women died.

Around 6.85 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States, including about 58,000 in San Diego County. No known severe adverse effects to the vaccine have been reported in the region.

For San Diegans who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk is very low, officials said. For San Diegans who recently got the vaccine — within the last few weeks — they should be aware of any symptoms. People who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath were urged to contact their health care provider and seek immediate medical treatment.

"San Diegans should continue to get vaccinated with a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, which are now being used at the clinics that offered the Johnson & Johnson vaccine," Wooten said.

Tuesday's statistics increased the region's cumulative totals from throughout the pandemic to 273,708 infections and 3,623 fatalities.


Hospitalizations due to the virus increased to 174 from Monday's reported 158. Of those, intensive care patients increased to 55 from 48. There are 53 available, staffed ICU beds in the county.

Of the 12,404 test results reported Tuesday, 2% returned positive. The 14-day rolling average of positive tests is 2%.

More than 2.1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been delivered to San Diego County, according to the county Health & Human Services Agency, and 1,181,876 county residents — or 44% — have received at least one dose.

The county reported a total of 719,723 people in the San Diego area — or 26.8% — are fully vaccinated. The numbers include both county residents and those who only work in the region.

The state's goal is to vaccinate 75% of people 16 and older to achieve so-called herd immunity — equating to around 2.02 million San Diego County residents.

The San Diego Fire Department announced Monday appointments are available at the Balboa Municipal Gym for the Moderna vaccine on Wednesday. Appointments can be made at

Scripps Health, which operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds Vaccination Super Station, announced Monday morning that the vaccination site will be closed Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday because of low vaccine supply.

Patients who have appointments scheduled on those dates will be rescheduled automatically through the MyTurn online appointment system.