Following the guidance and recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is pausing J&J (Janssen) vaccinations in Georgia until further notice. The FDA and CDC are reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot occurring in women aged 18-48 about a week after vaccination. None of the six cases are in individuals vaccinated in Georgia and are unrelated to the reactions reported last week at the Cumming Fairgrounds site.
DPH and District Health Departments are working to provide Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for individuals with previously scheduled appointments for the J&J vaccine. In some cases, this may require rescheduling, and we ask for patience while scheduling arrangements and adjustments are made.
Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare, but out of an abundance of caution DPH will temporarily stop the administration of the J&J vaccine while scientists review the data around these cases. More than 124,000 doses of J&J vaccine have been safely administered in Georgia.
Individuals who have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care providers. DPH urges all health care providers to be aware of the potential for these adverse events and plan for appropriate treatment required with these types of blood clots.
Vaccination remains one of our best tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with basic prevention measures – wearing a mask, distancing from others, avoiding large gatherings and frequent hand washing.
DPH will continue to monitor the situation with J&J vaccines and provide additional information as it becomes available.