On Friday, April 23, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration accepted the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendations to lift the pause in the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. Vaccine providers in Ventura County with doses of the Janssen vaccine can resume administration of the vaccine, provided they provide information from the updated Janssen fact sheet to any recipients of the vaccine.
The decision comes after CDC’s independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviewed data related to the recent reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot that occurred in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Based on their review of all available data, both the CDC and the FDA determined that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
According to the CDC, to date there have been only 15 confirmed cases of the rare clotting event among nearly 8 million total doses administered in the USA, all in females, which translates to a risk less than 2 cases per million doses overall, and 7 cases per million doses among women between 18 and 49 years of age. For those who have a confirmed case of COVID-19, the risk of dying from it in the United States is 1 in 56.
“The three vaccines that are currently available through the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) remain the most powerful tools we have in reducing transmission, preventing serious illness and death, and eventually ending the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people in Ventura County,” said Public Health Officer Doctor Robert Levin.
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their primary healthcare provider if they have concerns or if they develop severe symptoms of headache after 5 days of the receipt of the vaccine and abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and Ventura County Public Health (VCPH). VCPH will continue to monitor the situation and look to the CDC for any additional future guidance.
“Community members are strongly urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. All vaccines are proven to be highly effective at preventing hospitalization or death from COVID-19, and people who are fully vaccinated are also much less likely to be contagious or transmit the virus to someone else,” said Public Health Director Rigoberto Vargas. “The longer you wait to get vaccinated, the greater the risk of contracting COVID-19, and infecting a friend, loved one, or coworker.”
21,885 County residents have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to date. No serious adverse reactions have been reported. Community members have the option to select the type of vaccine they would like to receive when making an appointment at myturn.ca.gov. The vaccine sites list the type of vaccine offered. Johnson and Johnson will now be a choice during the appointment process.