Wisconsin DHS Pauses Administration of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
Vaccinators instructed to stop administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) is instructing Wisconsin vaccine providers to stop administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to a federal review of adverse side effects reported. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement (link is external)saying six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have been reported in the U.S. out of 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses given.
“We are pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. At this time, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Vaccine providers should not administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time, and should hold on to the vaccine until federal review has been completed.”
“There is still a lot to learn about how the vaccine might cause the problems that occurred in the six patients, which included blood clots around the brain and low platelets, but they do appear to be very rare,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer for DHS. “For residents who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, be in contact with your health care provider if you have a severe headache or new vision problems during the first two weeks after receiving the vaccine.”
People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should monitor for the following symptoms three weeks after their vaccination: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. Symptoms associated with these severe events have occurred six to 13 days after vaccine receipt. Contact your health care provider and use the v-safe program(link is external) to report your symptoms.
“So far, there have been no reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with low platelets in anyone who has received one of the mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines,” said Dr. Westergaard. “The FDA, CDC, and DHS continue to recommend the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at this time, while the adverse events related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine continue to be investigated.”
For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage and follow @DHSWI on Facebook(link is external), Twitter(link is external), or dhs.wi on Instagram(link is external) for more information on COVID-19.
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