News Spotlight – Ingham County Health Department pauses use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

LANSING, MI – In accordance with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Ingham County Health  Department (ICHD) has paused all use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer and  Moderna vaccines are not affected by the pause and are now being used for all scheduled vaccine appointments at ICHD. No appointments were canceled.

The halt in administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine comes after six reports of a rare blood clot  following receipt of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson &  Johnson vaccine have been administered to date in the U.S. These adverse events appear to be extremely  rare. The CDC and the FDA recommended the pause out of an abundance of caution.

“Safety is our highest priority. It is important that the CDC and the FDA take time to investigate these  rare but serious adverse events,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “The pause is a sign  that our vaccine reporting and investigation systems are working to ensure safety. It is a sign that the  CDC and the FDA are exercising extreme caution with the vaccines. ICHD will await their investigation  before taking further action.”

ess than one in every million Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients have reported the rare blood clot, but people who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past three weeks should be aware of the pause and watch for symptoms such as severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. If these symptoms develop, they should contact their health care provider.

All six reported cases of the blood clot occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday, April 14 to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. The FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until the review is complete, ICHD will separate and store all Johnson & Johnson vaccines.