Illinois and Indiana pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine rollout

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Johnson & Johnson
Information provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Indiana Department of Health

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (April 13, 2021) – 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 and the Indiana Department of Health 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.

Pfizer and Moderna will be substituted

Illinois and Indiana have notified all Illinois COVID-19 providers to discontinue use of the J&J vaccine at this time. In the meantime, the states are encouraging vaccination sites to use existing doses of Pfizer or Moderna if available to fulfill previously scheduled Johnson & Johnson appointments.

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

Length of Johnson & Johnson pause unknown

The length of the pause is unknown. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to review the cases and is expected to make a recommendation shortly afterward. According to the FDA, one reason for the pause is to inform healthcare providers so they can recognize and treat patients and report the conditions appropriately.

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.

Both the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Indiana Department of Health will continue to update the public as additional information becomes available.

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