To ensure that every dose of COVID-19 vaccine provided in the county is safe for patients, the Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) today temporarily paused its use of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine while federal regulatory agencies examine new information about a possible, rare side effect that can cause blood clots.
CCHS is closely following guidance issued this morning by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding this vaccine. CCHS continues to administer the other vaccines approved for emergency use in the U.S., from Pfizer and Moderna.
The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine is a very small part of Contra Costa’s vaccine allocation from the state and federal governments and CCHS does not anticipate cancelling any of its vaccination appointments at this time.
Patients with vaccination appointments through CCHS should attend at their scheduled time.
CCHS is not aware of any reported cases of adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccine in the county that were inconsistent with those documented during the extensive clinical trials conducted to ensure the safety of all vaccines used in the U.S.
The risk of an adverse reaction for people who received Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine more than a month ago is extremely low, according to the CDC.
People who received this vaccine more recently should contact a healthcare provider immediately if they develop symptoms such as severe headaches, severe abdominal pain, severe leg pain or shortness of breath – these symptoms are different than the usual, minor reactions that some people may experience in the day or two following their vaccination.
The FDA has not received any reports of similar side effects associated with the use of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
CCHS will update the public at cchealth.org/coronavirus as more information becomes available about this developing situation.