FDA and CDC Approve Lifting Pause on Johnson and Johnson Vaccine SRHD Will Resume Use
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Spokane, Wash. – Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today to recommend resuming the use of the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine after extensive review of available data. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved this recommendation and use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine may be resumed immediately.
The pause in vaccine administration has given the healthcare system time to prepare to recognize and treat patients appropriately based on the appearance of a rare but serious side effect including serious brain blood clots (CVST) combined with low platelet counts in six patients, all women under 50. The pause also allowed time for the ACIP to review cases and assess their potential significance.
Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) will resume use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in their vaccination efforts.
“The J&J vaccine is safe and effective. The risks are rare compared to the enormous morbidity and mortality risks associated with contracting the COVID-19 virus,” said Spokane County’s Interim Health Officer Dr. Francisco Velazquez. “It’s ease of use makes it instrumental in many of our vaccination outreach efforts.”
SRHD vaccination efforts where Johnson and Johnson vaccine is used include individuals who are homebound, congregate settings, and rural communities. Its ability to be stored at a warmer temperature and its need for only one dose makes for faster, more efficient vaccination in these communities.
If an individual intends to receive the vaccine and has concerns about the risks, they should discuss these risks with their healthcare provider. For more information, individuals can also refer to the updated Emergency Use Authorization Fact Sheet.
If an individual has had the J&J vaccine in the last three weeks, they should reach out to their healthcare provider if they are experiencing the following symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Abdominal pain
- Leg pain
- Shortness of breath
Some flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, muscle pain, chills, or fever, immediately after getting a vaccine is normal.
Health officials also emphasize reporting any adverse events after a vaccination through a report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) or v-safe, a smart phone-based tool that reports information to the CDC.
COVID-19 vaccination locations and scheduling can be found online on the Washington State Department of Health’s Vaccine Locator or by calling (800) 525-0127, then press #. Language assistance is available.