*** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ***
April 14, 2021
Effective Immediately: Statewide Pause on Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine
The WA Department of Health is pausing use of the J&J vaccine while rare but severe side effects are evaluated
OKANOGAN – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine statewide, effective immediately. The CDC and FDA will begin an investigation into reports of a rare but severe type of blood clot in six people who have received the J&J vaccine in the U.S.
About 149,000 doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in WA so far, and more than six million doses total in the US. The vaccine is being paused due to the appearance of serious blood clots combined with low platelet counts in six patients. All affected individuals were women under 50, and there is no indication that any are Washington State residents.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will review these cases in the days ahead and will provide recommendations and guidance going forward. DOH and federal representatives consider this a temporary pause in J&J vaccine distribution as they learn from these reviews. That an investigation is immediately being implemented for an event occurring in less than one out of one million cases is a sign that our safety monitoring system is working well.
For those who received the J&J vaccine more than a month ago, your risk of developing blood clots is very low. If you received the vaccine within the last few weeks and develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath, contact a healthcare provider right away. If you received the J&J vaccine and have questions or concerns, please call the national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at: 1-800-822-7967.
For those who were scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, Okanogan County vaccinators can provide you with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. You may update your vaccine preferences in your vaccine notification account by signing into your account here: https://okanogancountycovid19.org/covid-19-vaccine/ or https://spanish.okanogancountycovid19.org/la-vacuna-covid-19/.
If you do not update your preferences, you will receive notifications for both Pfizer and Moderna appointments.