The Rock Island County Health Department will substitute the two-dose Moderna vaccine at Thursday’s clinic at the Camden Centre in Milan because two U.S. federal agencies recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine out of an “abundance of caution.” More than 800 patients had signed up for the one-dose J&J vaccine clinic.
Dr. Louis Katz, the medical director of the Scott County Health Department, will speak on this topic and other issues at today’s QC COVID-19 media briefing at 3:30 p.m. The Zoom link will be sent to media contacts and a recording will be available after the briefing on the Scott County Health Department’s website: https://www.scottcountyiowa.com/health/covid19/news
“In an abundance of caution we are asking our partners to suspend use of the J&J vaccine until an investigation is complete and FDA and CDC modify their recommendation for its use,” Katz said. “It is a testament to the enhanced surveillance that this small risk has been identified and characterized so quickly.”
RICHD has enough Moderna and Pfizer vaccines available to meet vaccination demand this week while pausing use of the J&J vaccine. In addition, pharmacy and healthcare partners have appointments available throughout the area. To find locations, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location or vaccinefinder.org .
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the United States. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Drug Administration are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. None of those cases were reported in Rock Island County. The number of J&J vaccines administered in Rock Island County isn’t immediately available because the state’s vaccination data website doesn’t break down the manufacturer in the number of doses given.
In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.
Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government and the Rock Island County Health Department. Patients 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 at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html