Missouri COVID-19 vaccinators will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. This decision was made following the announcement by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it has studied and confirmed that the pause on its use can be lifted. It was concluded that the known and potential benefits of the J&J vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks.
Missouri providers who previously received doses of the J&J vaccine will be able to immediately begin administering the vaccine. Allocations of the J&J vaccine by the federal government will resume next week. Just over 105,000 doses of J&J had been administered in Missouri prior to the pause.
The CDC announced the pause on April 13 after reports of a small number of people experiencing adverse reactions involving a rare and severe type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. This type of blood clot is found in the blood vessels that drain blood from the brain and is combined with low platelets. Platelets help blood clot and stop bleeding. The problems were found up to two weeks after vaccination. There have been no reported cases of these side effects in Missouri.
Missouri joined most other states in pausing the use of the vaccine on the recommendation of the CDC. Federal health officials announced the temporary halt to allow the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices time to review additional data about reported side effects. Nearly 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
Although the side effects of concern are extremely rare, the FDA and CDC recommend that people who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should immediately contact their health care provider.