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A Message to Our Patients About the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) Vaccine


04.15.2021

Earlier this week, the FDA and the CDC issued a joint statement recommending a pause in the administration of the Johnson and Johnson (J & J) COVID-19 vaccine.  This advisory has been issued out of an abundance of caution. Yesterday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met to further review the clinical data. This group came to no definitive conclusions and will be studying the matter further over the next few weeks. 

WHY DID THE CDC RECOMMEND A PAUSE WITH THE J & J VACCINE?

There have been 6.8 million doses of the J & J single dose vaccine administered in the United States to date.  Both the CDC and the FDA are reviewing six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot that developed in women ages 18 – 48 with symptoms occurring 6-13 days post vaccination. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

First, until this review process is complete, administration of the J & J vaccine has been suspended by most state departments of public health. As a result, we have cancelled J & J clinics at all our facilities and in our communities.

If you have received J & J vaccine within the past three weeks AND develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath, call your healthcare provider or go to a hospital emergency room.  It is important that you tell the medical team about your vaccine history.

If you have received J & J vaccine over three weeks ago, you should monitor your health symptoms.  It is likely however, that the window for concern for a severe adverse reaction has passed.

WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER VACCINES?

The two other vaccines approved for Emergency Use in the United States are manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer and are made using very different technology. There have been no reports of similar side effects with these mRNA vaccines. These vaccines are proving to be extremely effective, and we urge everyone to get vaccinated when eligible. 

Please share this information with family and friends. As more information becomes available, we will share this with you and post to our websites.



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