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April 13, 2021

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update

Important Note: As of April 25, the CDC and FDA have recommended use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine in the US, after a temporary pause.  
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April 13, 2021 |  Today the CDC and the FDA issued a statement recommending an immediate pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the US in order to evaluate reported adverse events related to the vaccine. We understand that there is concern surrounding the safety of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine among those who have received it, and Westmed wants to provide you with answers to some of the questions you may have:


  • Why is the J&J vaccine distribution paused?

Six cases out of the 6.8 million doses of J&J vaccine administered in the US have reported the development of an extremely rare and severe type of blood clot, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). The six cases were reported by women between the ages of 18-48 and the symptoms occurred 6-13 days after inoculation. It remains unknown whether the blood clots in these cases were caused by the vaccine.


  • Are these symptoms commonly reported?

At this moment, severe side effects seem to be extremely rare.  The CDC is having a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday 04/13 to review the cases and determine potential significance.  The recommended pause of the J&J vaccine is important so that health care providers can be made aware of the reactions and properly recognize and manage the cases, given the unique treatment required.


  • Is this vaccine still effective?

Nearly all experts have said that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective, and that any such side effects are either extremely rare or not caused by the vaccine alone.


  • What are the symptoms I should look out for?  What should I do if I feel these symptoms?

If you have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, contact your health care provider.  Additionally, it is recommended that you also report symptoms to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System: