Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was stopped Tuesday following reports of rare and severe blood clotting in some people who received the shot. Federal health officials recommended states pause the use of the vaccine out of an abundance of caution after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 experienced clotting six to 13 days after vaccination.
To date, Northern Inyo Healthcare District has only administered the Pfizer & Moderna vaccines. Some Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine was distributed within Inyo County at varying locations.
People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are encouraged to watch for the following signs within three weeks of vaccination:
- Severe headache,
- Abdominal pain,
- Leg pain, and
- Shortness of breath
Dr. Joy Engblade, NIHD’s Chief Medical Officer, said Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine recipients feeling these symptoms should seek immediate medical care. “In most clotting cases, the drug heparin would be used for treatment,” Dr. Engblade explained. “However, in this case, heparin may be dangerous for the patient and may require alternate treatments. Caution should be taken in each case.”
The California Department of Public Health said pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would continue until further direction from health and safety experts is available. Additionally, the state will convene the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup to review the federal government’s information on this issue. It is estimated this review will take several days.
Dr. Engblade said this turn of events should not dissuade people from seeking other COVID-19 vaccinations. “The vaccines remain very safe, and NIHD encourages people to discuss their options with their primary care providers if they have any concerns about receiving a vaccination,” she said.
CDPH officials said they do not expect a significant impact on the state’s vaccination allocations. In California, less than four percent of this week’s vaccine allocation is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
About Northern Inyo Healthcare District: Founded in 1946, Northern Inyo Healthcare District features a 25-bed critical access hospital, a 24-hour emergency department, a primary care rural health clinic, a diagnostic imaging center, and clinics specializing in women’s health, orthopedics, internal medicine, pediatrics and allergies, general surgery, colorectal surgery, breast cancer surgery and urology. Continually striving to improve the health outcomes of those who rely on its services, Northern Inyo Healthcare District aims to improve our communities one life at a time. One team, one goal, your health.