Update on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

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As of April 12th, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been given in the U.S. The CDC and FDA are looking at six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in people after getting the J&J vaccine. In these cases:

 

  • A type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen. This was combined with low blood platelet count (thrombocytopenia).
  • All six cases happened in women between the ages of 18 and 48.
  • Symptoms happened 6 to 13 days after getting the vaccine.

 

Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different. Usually, an anticoagulant drug (medicine that thins the blood) called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, giving heparin may be dangerous, and other treatments are needed.

 

The CDC will hold a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday, April 14th to further review these cases. The FDA will review the data as it also looks into these cases. Until that process is complete, Community Healthcare Network has paused the use of the J&J vaccine.

 

Right now, these serious events appear to be very rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority. All reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination are taken very seriously. People who got the J&J vaccine who develop any of these symptoms within three weeks after getting the vaccine should contact their healthcare provider:

 

  • Severe headache
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath

 

Healthcare providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html

 

If you are having these symptoms or have questions, please call your primary care provider (PCP) or 855-491-2667.