LANSING, Mich. – Following a pause and review of the safety of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Ingham County Health Department (ICHD) will resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on May 3. Appointments are currently available.
During the review, a total of 15 cases of a rare blood clot were identified among the nearly 7 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered in the U.S. All of the cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 49. Ultimately, the CDC and FDA concluded the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential risk. The vaccine remains authorized for anyone age 18 or older. ICHD will accommodate women ages 18-49 years old who prefer an mRNA vaccine, such as Pfizer or Moderna.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a vital part the U.S. vaccine supply,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail. “For some, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be the best choice. For others, Pfizer or Moderna may be the best choice. With increased supply, people have options. The bottom line is that any of these vaccines is better than no vaccine. The risk for COVID-19 followed by a serious illness or death is significantly higher than the risk for a severe, adverse reaction from the vaccine.”
On April 13, the pause was recommended after reports of six cases of a rare, severe type of blood clot in women following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Additional cases of the blood clot syndrome known as thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) were identified via VAERS.
“While the pause was concerning, it is a sign that our vaccine safety systems are at work ensuring the safety and efficacy of the U.S. vaccine supply,” said Vail.
Anyone who resides in Michigan and is age 16 or older is eligible to get vaccinated for COVID-19 with ICHD. (Only the Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people ages 16-17 years old.) To make an appointment, visit: http://hd.ingham.org/coronavirus/r_1013.aspx