Six Individuals Out of 6.8 Millions Doses Developed Blood Clots
Due to rare reports of blood clots in six women who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, DSHS is asking vaccine providers in Texas to pause all administration of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. This is based on today’s recommendation from the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
The pause is recommended following reports of blood clots in six individuals 6 to 13 days after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare and are being further evaluated to ensure vaccine safety. People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
It’s important to note: all six cases were in women, and occurred between 6-13 days post J&J COVID-19 vaccine. Of these 6 women, 1 has died and 1 is currently hospitalized.
None of the cases of blood clots reported at this time have occurred in Texas, where more than 500,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered.
Statement from CDC & FDA on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA 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. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) 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.
Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.
CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.
Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. 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 at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.
CDC and FDA will provide additional information and answer questions later today at a media briefing. A recording of that media call will be available on the FDA’s YouTube channel.
If you were scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week, we recommend you contact the provider to see if they need to reschedule or have plans to use Pfizer or Moderna instead.
Walgreens Statement on J&J Vaccine
Following today’s recommendation from the FDA and CDC for a pause in the use of the J&J vaccine out of an abundance of caution, we are immediately suspending the administration of the J&J vaccine at our stores and off-site clinics and are awaiting further guidance. We are reaching out to patients with scheduled appointments and rescheduling vaccinations from other manufacturers, as supply allows.
We will continue to work closely with the FDA and CDC and, as always, the health and safety of our patients and customers is our highest priority.