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.
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.