The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) sent a message to health care providers around the state advising that they follow the federal recommendation to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review data about an extremely rare type of blood clot that has been reported in six people who received that vaccine in the United State.
As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving a rare and severe type of blood clot that was reported in six people after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred six to 13 days after vaccination.
“The Orange County Health Department has never received an allotment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but we know that community members may have received it from other vaccination providers,” said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart. “We are not aware of any cases occurring among the more than 58,547 people in Orange County who are partially vaccinated.”
What to do if you have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine
People who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk to them is very low at this time. There are three vaccines available. These events have not occurred with the other two vaccines, Pfizer and Moderna.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has released the following statement regarding the CDC and FDA's joint statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine:
"Our primary concern is the health and safety of all North Carolinians. Out of an abundance of caution, we are following the recommendations of the FDA and CDC and have paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine until we learn more. The safety system in place is working as it should. If you have an appointment for Pfizer or Moderna, please go to your appointment as planned. If you have an appointment for Johnson & Johnson, your appointment will be rescheduled."