Why was the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Stopped?
As of April 12, providers have administered more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine the U.S. However, the CDC and FDA are currently reviewing six cases. In these cases, a rare but severe type of blood clot was found. The rare Covid vaccine side effect is discovered in women between the ages of 18-48, after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In severe cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was found. The Covid vaccine side effect was present in patients that had low blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). It is extremely rare, only one per million.
The symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. So, if you received the J&J vaccine, you should be on guard for two-three weeks. This caution is to make sure you don’t have any adverse side effects. Afterwards, you should be okay. The Covid vaccine side effect is a concern because unlike other blood clots, this one cannot be treated with heparin, an anticoagulant drug. The FDA and CDC want to make sure heath professions and distributors, alike are aware of the covid vaccine side effect and the recommendation that heparin not be used if found. One Virginia woman, 45 years of age, has already died in connection to the dangerous side effect.
The Statement From the CDC & FDA Regarding Covid Vaccine Side Effect
Both the CDC and FDA have released statements in which they reveal that they are currently investigating the side effect and recommend a stop on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson Covid Vaccine.
The CDC released this statement, “[We] will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to further review these cases and assess their potential significance.” Simarly, “FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.” Furthermore, “This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events.” Planning is also important, the FDA hopes that providers can “plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”
Further Research May be Needed
This vaccine was in development during the stages of the discovery of new strands of the Covid virus. Therefore, there are still testing that needs to be done. It is considered safe for most patients to protect against the virus’s most dangerous side effect, death. However, it doesn’t eliminate the risk of getting Covid or the experience of Covid symptoms. Still, the blood clots, Covid vaccine side effect appear to be extremely rare.
What Should You Do If You Are Experiencing Side effects from the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine?
People who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their doctor. Headaches could be a sign that you may have a blood clot that is traveling to your brain. However, before you run to the ER over fear of blood clots, mild headaches may be normal response to many of the vaccines. So, just because you have a headache, doesn’t mean you have the blood clot. Remain cautious and vigilant with protection protocals such as mask wearing and washing hands even after getting vaccinated. Consult with your doctor if you find any reason to be concerned.