Yesterday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a joint statement on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. From the over 6.8 million J&J vaccinations given in the US to date, they reported six occurrences of a rare and severe type of blood clot. Out of an abundance of caution and following the CDC and FDA guidance, the New Jersey Department of Health temporarily paused the administration of the J&J (Janssen) vaccine across all vaccination sites in the state.
As a Health Center, HJAHC is committed to the health and wellbeing of our patients. We will continue to monitor all recommendations about COVID-19 vaccine benefits and adverse effects and work to ensure that our patients have adequate access to vaccination. Also, we know that many in our community have suffered great losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is still raging in Mercer County. Widespread vaccination is the best strategy to prevent further unnecessary loss of life. For context, the reported risk of severe adverse effects with the J&J vaccine is far lower than the risk of contracting COVID-19, driving in a vehicle, or taking many commonly prescribed medications.
People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.