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Boulder County expects ‘negligible impact’ from Johnson and Johnson vaccine hold; state reports infections on rise

Boulder County reports 113 new COVID-19 cases

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Boulder County Public Health officials said Tuesday that anyone scheduled to get the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will have the chance to either receive a different vaccine or have their appointment rescheduled. Meanwhile, the state released a report that suggested delaying the ease of public health restrictions, with infections seeing an increase.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday recommended a pause in administering the one-shot vaccine, due to blood clots reported in six women across the U.S. A news release from the governor’s office Tuesday said the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Joint Vaccine Task Force are requiring providers to temporarily stop administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine in the state.

Angela Simental, Boulder County Public Health spokesperson, said the impact of the one-shot vaccine going on hold will be “negligible.” Simental said “very little” of the one-shot dose has been allocated in Boulder County.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said it’s working with providers in Colorado and the CDC to determine if there are any instances of these rare blood clots in Colorado.

In an emailed statement, a state spokesperson said the one-shot does makes up a small portion of the state’s weekly vaccine allocation.

“This week, for example, the state’s Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) allocation is 9,700, compared to nearly 280,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna the state expects to receive this week. Most vaccine clinics will not be significantly affected,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.

The state’s vaccine dashboard shows 122,280 received the Johnson & Johnson shot, while 1,529,767 Moderna shots and 1,645,357 Pfizer vaccines were administered.

Report shows infections rising

The state and Colorado School of Public Health on Tuesday released a statewide modeling report indicating that delaying policy changes — whether at the state or local level — until mid-May as opposed to this month could prevent “large numbers of deaths and hospitalizations.” “The Current State of COVID-19 in Colorado” report said infections are increasing, with the virus’s reproduction number remaining above 1 at 1.08. The report said one in 196 people in Colorado are infectious — an increase from March lows of roughly one per 350.

A state news release said public health officials continue to advocate for people to wear masks, social distance and limit gatherings, with the hope that next month some of these public health orders can be relaxed.

Boulder County Public Health on Tuesday reported 113 new coronavirus cases, but no new deaths. The new cases bring the county’s total number of COVID-19 cases to 21,765, according to public health’s online dashboard. The death toll remained at 250 people. As of Tuesday, there were 23 people in Boulder County’s hospitals due to COVID-19. One COVID-19 patient was discharged on Tuesday. There have been 753 residents hospitalized with the virus.

Single-dose shot on hold

For people who received the one-shot dose, Simental said those inoculated more than a month ago are at a very low risk of serious side effects.

People who got the shot within the last three weeks should contact their health care provider if they develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, Simental said.

“These symptoms are different from the flu-like symptoms people may experience after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine,” Simental noted.

Celanie Pinnell, marketing manager at Boulder Community Health, said in a statement that in keeping with federal recommendations, Boulder Community Health will stop administering the one-shot vaccine “while experts determine if the vaccine contributes to development of a rare blood clotting disorder that has emerged in six vaccine recipients.”

The statement said it would continue vaccinating people with the Pfizer and Moderna shots, and there have been “no serious medical issues” associated with the two-dose vaccines.

“Approximately 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the United States,” the Boulder Community Health statement read. “The national response to these six cases speaks to the careful ongoing monitoring that is taking place with COVID-19 vaccine administration.”

People scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccination through Boulder Community Health do not need to take any action, the statement said.

Other vaccine providers released similar statements.

Centura Health said it is pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Colorado and western Kansas. Days before the federal recommendation, Centura Health announced Friday that “out of an abundance of caution” officials decided to pause use of the vaccine at its three drive-up clinics. The decision came after 11 people experienced adverse reactions, according to a Centura Health news release. Of those 11, two people required emergency department care. Those two people were treated and released the same day of admittance. Those who reported the adverse effects described dizziness, light-headedness, feeling faint, rapid breathing, sweating, nausea, vomiting and low blood pressure, the release said.

Kelly Tracer, UCHealth spokesperson, said UCHealth has administered the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but not the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“All of our clinics are operating normally, and we’re anticipating providing close to 40,000 vaccinations this week statewide (roughly divided between 20K first doses and 20K second doses),” Tracer wrote in an email.

Spokespeople with King Soopers, Walmart and Walgreens also released statements saying use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was on hold.

Jessica Trowbridge, of King Soopers and City Market corporate affairs, said King Soopers’ pharmacies and The Little Clinics will pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“King Soopers will continue administering the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines,” Trowbridge wrote in an email. “When available, patients scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will be provided either the Pfizer or Moderna 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine. If the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is not available, King Soopers will work with the patient to reschedule their vaccination appointment.”

At Walmart, Carla Landon, senior manager for global communications for Corporate Affairs, said, “As recommended by CDC and FDA, we immediately paused administration of the J&J vaccine until the federal government completes a thorough review.”

She added, “If someone has an appointment and we have a different vaccine, they will receive the one available,” Landon wrote in an email. “If not, we will cancel their appointment and rebook for a later date once supply allows.”

On its website, Walgreens officials wrote in a statement that use of the one-shot vaccine was suspended at its stores and off-site clinics. People with scheduled appointments are being contacted to reschedule a vaccine appointment from another manufacturer as supply allows.

Avery Brewing Company to reopen

Avery Brewing Company in Boulder plans to reopen Wednesday, following a closure earlier this month. Krista St. Charles, Avery Brewing Company communications coordinator, said the business closed temporarily after an employee tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to close our Tap Room and Restaurant temporarily,” St. Charles wrote in an email. “We’re normally closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so we plan to reopen on Wednesday, April 14.”

In a Facebook post, restaurant officials said the positive test was discovered April 8. “Effective immediately,” the taproom and restaurant closed, the post said. During the closure, the space was deep cleaned and sanitized.

School cases

The University of Colorado Boulder reported two positive test results were discovered during Monday testing out of 42 diagnostic tests and 1,590 monitoring tests. There were 26 on-campus isolation spaces in use, which is 5% of the campus’ isolation reserve. Since Jan. 4, there have been 649 positive test results; 9,936 diagnostic tests and 86,602 monitoring tests completed.

In the Boulder Valley School District, there were 27 active cases and 545 quarantines among 524 students and four staff members, according to the district’s online coronavirus dashboard.

The St. Vrain Valley School District reported 68 active cases among 64 students and four staffers. Throughout the school year, there have been 1,131 cases among 880 students and 251 staff.

Statewide, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported 481,494 cases and 26,378 hospitalizations. There have been 6,316 deaths due to COVID-19. The state reported that of Colorado’s more than 5.7 million population there have been 2,804,046 people tested.

Boulder Valley School District active cases, quarantines

BVSD elementary schools

  • Bear Creek: 1 active case; 22 students quarantined
  • Columbine: 1 active case; 17 students quarantined
  • Creekside: 2 active cases; 50 students quarantined
  • Crest View: 1 active case; 26 students quarantined
  • Flatirons: 1 active case; 24 students quarantined
  • Kohl: 1 active case; 20 students quarantined
  • Lafayette: 2 active cases; 50 students quarantined
  • Louisville: 1 active case; 27 students quarantined
  • Nederland: 2 active cases; 31 students and 2 staff quarantined

BVSD middle schools

  • Angevine: 3 active cases; 36 students and 1 staff member quarantined
  • Centennial: 1 active case; 3 students quarantined
  • Louisville: 1 active case; 16 students quarantined
  • Manhattan: 1 active case; 12 students quarantined

BVSD high schools

  • Boulder: 2 active cases; 86 students quarantined
  • Broomfield: 1 active case; 5 students quarantined
  • Monarch: 2 active cases; 26 students quarantined

Other

  • Meadowlark: 1 active case; 24 students quarantined
  • Monarch PK8: 3 active cases; 66 students quarantined

St. Vrain Valley School District active cases

SVVSD elementary schools

  • Black Rock: 2 student and 1 staff cases
  • Erie: 2 student cases
  • Fall River: 4 student cases
  • Hygiene: 1 student case
  • Longmont Estates: 1 student case
  • Niwot: 1 student case

SVVSD middle schools

  • Altona: 2 student cases
  • Coal Ridge: 1 student case
  • Erie: 2 student cases
  • Longs Peak: 1 student case
  • Westview: 1 student case

SVVSD high schools

  • Erie: 9 student cases
  • Frederick: 1 student case
  • Longmont: 3 student cases
  • Mead: 1 student case
  • Niwot: 5 student cases
  • Silver Creek: 10 student cases
  • Skyline: 7 student cases

Other

  • LaunchED Virtual Academy: 1 student case
  • Soaring Heights PK-8: 7 student cases
  • Thunder Valley PK-8: 1 student case
  • Timberline PK-8: 1 student case
  • Multiple Schools: 1 staff case
  • Central Administration: 2 staff cases