Illinois, Chicago pause use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Coronavirus

An illustration picture shows vials with Covid-19 Vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on November 17, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Illinois Department of Public Health has released the following:

Illinois Department of Public Health Pauses Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Illinois Follows CDC and FDA Guidance, Advises Providers to Use Moderna and Pfizer Doses for Existing Appointments

SPRINGFIELD – In accordance with recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) will pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution.  The CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.

IDPH has notified all Illinois COVID-19 providers throughout the state to discontinue use of the J&J vaccine at this time. In order to keep appointments, IDPH is strongly advising providers to use Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. 

Moderna and Pfizer make up the vast majority of doses on hand in the State of Illinois. This week, the state’s allocation of J&J was 17,000 doses. For the week of April 18, 2021, the expected allocation for the State is 483,720 total doses. Of that total allocation, 5,800 doses were expected to be J&J.

Per the federal health authorities, people who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Patients with other clinical questions should contact their health care provider. IDPH will continue to update the public as additional information becomes available.

The Chicago Department of Public Health has released the following:

STATEMENT FROM CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH

Vaccine safety is always our top priority. In accordance with a recommendation from the CDC and FDA, the City of Chicago has paused administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine while federal health officials complete a review. We are working closely with our partners at the federal and local level to determine how this impacts the city’s vaccine operations. Federal agencies are investigating very rare reports of a severe type of blood clot with low platelets that occurred in 6 individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine, among nearly 7 million people who have received J&J across the U.S. We are not aware of any local cases. While incredibly rare, anyone who has received the J&J vaccine who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after their vaccination should contact their health provider. This recommendation does not affect Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in any way. Vaccination remains critical to protect Chicagoans from COVID-19 and we will share more information as we receive it. 

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