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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Last week, the FDA and CDC recommended that providers pause administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they further investigate a rare potential side effect associated with the vaccine. Eightmillion doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered nationally as of April 12. Six cases of a rare but serious form a blood clot, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, was found in combination with thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts).

MDHHS last week issued a notice to all providers to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine immediately out of an abundance of caution. The ACIP is meeting this Friday to discuss the pause.

Systems such as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System and V-safe are in place to monitor for these situations. While blood clots appear to be extremely rare in those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a direct link has not yet been proven, it is always important to take a look at any reactions and side effects on an ongoing basis. The risk of COVID-19, including severe COVID-19, still appears to be far greater than this rare reaction. For instance, onein every 10 Americans has contracted COVID, one in 558 have died of COVID, and there's a one in a 1 million chance of blood clots from the J&J vaccine.

  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the past three weeks:
    • Monitor for a severe headache, abdominal or leg pain, or shortness of breath.
    • If you experience these symptoms, contact your doctor to discuss your symptoms out of an abundance of caution.

  • If you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than three weeks ago:
    • The risk of this already extremely rare condition is low.
    • Talk with a doctor if you have any symptoms of a blood clot. Blood clots can be caused by a number of factors.