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Federal Health Agencies Recommend Pause in Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

caution sign The information on this page may be outdated as it was published 3 years ago.

On Tuesday, April 13, federal health agencies recommended an immediate pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following reports of six people who developed a rare and severe type of blood clot within two weeks of receiving the vaccine.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is notifying all Massachusetts providers to pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately.

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered.

According to the April 13 statement from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was issued out of an abundance of caution and to ensure that medical providers were aware of the potential for blood clots and how to provide treatment. An emergency meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 14 to further review the cases and their potential significance.

Cambridge Vaccine Clinic at Reservoir Church at 170 Rindge Avenue on Pause:

Following the state and federal recommendation, the City is pausing operation of the vaccine clinic scheduled for this week (April 12-18) at Reservoir Church in North Cambridge, where the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was to be administered. We will keep Cambridge residents apprised of any new developments as more information becomes available from state and Federal health officials.

For those individuals who have already received the one dose J & J vaccine:

The reported blood clot cases have been very rare events, with nearly seven million people in the U.S. having already safely received the J & J vaccine. You can expect the usual sore arm and achiness that follows a vaccine. However, you should call your health care provider if you experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Moderna and Pfizer/BIONTech Vaccines Remain Safe for Administration:

This announcement by the CDC and the FDA, along with the Commonwealth, does not impact administration of the Moderna or Pfizer/BIONTech vaccine. There have been no significant safety concerns reported for either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Anyone who is scheduled to receive either of these vaccines should move forward as planned. Mass vaccination sites do not administer the one dose J & J vaccine.

For more information on this announcement, please visit the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html

If you received the J&J vaccine and want more information, please review this info sheet (in English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish). 

Page was posted on 4/13/2021 11:33 AM
Page was last modified on 7/25/2023 12:32 AM
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