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Pause in the administration of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson and Johnson

April 14, 2021

Monterey County Health Department following the recommendation of the CDC and FDA to pause administration of COVID-19 Vaccine manufactured by Johnson and Johnson

This pause does not affect the administration of Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement this morning recommending that, out of an abundance of caution, vaccine service providers pause the administration of COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Johnson and Johnson. Over 6.8 million doses of Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date in the United States. CDC and FDA are reviewing 6 cases of a very rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) that occurred in individuals who received Johnson and Johnson vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet tomorrow to review the data and assess their impact. In the interim, use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be paused out of an abundance of caution. This pause does not affect the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine products currently authorized for use in the United States.

Individuals who have been vaccinated can determine what type of vaccine they received by checking their official CDC vaccination card that was given to them at the time of their vaccination appointment. For people who received Johnson and Johnson vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time. Individuals who received Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the last 2 to 3 weeks and experience severe headache, shortness of breath, leg pain, and/or abdominal pain should contact their medical provider. These symptoms are very different from the mild flu-like illness many experience following vaccination. Health care providers are asked to report all adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.

People who have upcoming vaccine appointments will be contacted by their vaccine service provider if there is a need to cancel or reschedule their appointment for vaccination. If you are not contacted, please attend the vaccination clinic at your scheduled appointment time. Vaccination is a key component of national, state, and local strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Approximately 2.2 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine were shipped to California, about 898,000 of which have been administered. Over 9,600 Monterey County residents have been vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson vaccine since early March. Monterey County Health Department is not aware of any reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following vaccination with Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine among Monterey County residents. However, vaccine-related adverse events are reported to the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), not to local health departments.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html.