The Pennsylvania Department of Health this week notified all COVID-19 vaccine providers that the pause in administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine has been lifted. The move follows updated guidance announced by the CDC and FDA.
Last week, the department recommended the pause in administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further guidance from the CDC and FDA was available as the federal agencies continued to review the incidents of rare blood clots that occurred within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently held an emergency meeting, determining that these incidents are extremely rare, and that the vaccine is safe and effective for all individuals moving forward.
The cases of the combined rare blood clots with low platelet counts occurred in women primarily between the ages of 18 and 48 who were among the 6.8 million Americans who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Out of the more than 7.6 million vaccine doses that have been administered in Pennsylvania, 271,132 have been Johnson & Johnson.
“After a thorough review, federal experts have determined that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe for all individuals,” said Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam. “We continue to urge individuals to get vaccinated as soon as possible with any of the three vaccines available to them. Getting vaccinated is essential as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and also of serious and fatal complications due to the virus.”
Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of their vaccination should still contact their healthcare provider.