Indiana, Ohio pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (ADAMS) – Both Ohio and Indiana are putting the brakes on the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.

ISDH (The Indiana State Department of Health) released the following:

At the direction of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana Department of Health has temporarily paused the administration of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine following an announcement about a rare adverse event from the federal organizations.

In the meantime, the state Department of Health is encouraging vaccination sites statewide to use existing doses of Pfizer or Moderna if available to fulfill previously scheduled Johnson & Johnson appointments. The state also has supplied the two-dose Moderna vaccine for a mass vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The clinic will continue through Sunday.

The FDA and CDC issued their guidance after a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). This has been found in only six U.S. patients who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The length of the pause is unknown. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to review the cases and is expected to make a recommendation shortly afterward. According to the FDA, one reason for the pause is to inform healthcare providers so they can recognize and treat patients and report the conditions appropriately.

If you have recently received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, flu-like systems within the first few days of vaccination are part of the body’s normal immune response to the vaccine. Those symptoms include pain, redness and swelling in the arm where you got the vaccine, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

Anyone who develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, shortness of breath or leg swelling within three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact a healthcare provider and inform the provider of the symptoms and recent COVID-19 vaccination.

Those who have an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will receive the Moderna vaccine until further notice. Details about second-dose appointments will be available soon. Anyone with a Johnson & Johnson appointment at another location in the next two days may call 211 [(866) 211-9966] to cancel their appointment and reschedule at either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccination site. Information regarding appointments beyond that timeframe will be provided at a later time.

The state Department of Health will provide updates when more information is available. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Indiana Department of Health at ourshot.in.gov.

Late morning on Tuesday, Ohio Emergency Medical Services released the following along with the announcement that the state would as well be halting use of the J&J vaccine.

The following was issued Wednesday morning:

The majority of the Ohio’s Johnson and Johnson doses were directed to mass vaccination clinics and to 63 public and private 4-year colleges and universities, most of which have already completed their student vaccinations. 

Of the mass vaccination clinics and college/university clinics that did plan to offer the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week, most will proceed with their clinics by offering either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.  A total of eight sites will not offer any vaccines this week as the health community works to recognize, report, and manage any adverse events related to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

There are many other local providers with open appointments for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov to look for open appointments. 

Governor DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Stephanie McCloud, and Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D., directed all Ohio vaccine providers this morning to temporarily pause using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine following a recommendation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The recommendation was made after six people who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine experienced an extremely rare blood-clotting condition in the United States. The cases have occurred in women between 18 and 48 and the reactions have taken place within 6-13 days after receiving the vaccine.

Approximately 6.8 million people have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the U.S. 264,311 of those vaccinations were administered in Ohio.

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