As you may be aware, yesterday the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the New York State Department of Health all recommended an immediate pause to the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine due to reports of a rare serious side effect involving blood clotting. To date, of the 6.8 million doses of this vaccine given in the United States, there have been 6 reported cases of this event. While extremely rare, the pause is intended to give experts a chance to review the reports and the medical community an opportunity to clarify how to best evaluate and treat this side effect should it occur.
Each of the 6 cases occurred in women between the ages of 16 and 48 years old, and all occurred between 6 and 13 days after the immunization.
As of yesterday, patients have received more than 25,000 vaccinations from HHHN, most have been the Moderna vaccine, which has not been associated with this particular side effect.
If you did receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, please call your health care provider immediately if you develop chest pain, severe headache, severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, or leg swelling.
If you call us we will discuss your particular situation, but most likely we will want to see and evaluate you as a precaution.
Patients more than 3 weeks out from the dose appear to be at an even lower risk of side effects.
We wish to emphasize that we are taking these steps as a precaution and that the relative risk of the complication remains extremely low (less than one case per million vaccinations given).
We will continue to provide updates as we learn more.
For those of you interested in more detailed information, click here to read Frequently Asked Questions prepared by the CDC.