SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Health departments across southern Illinois announced they will not be administering the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at clinics.
The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a “pause” in using the single-dose shot on Tuesday morning, April 13, due to an investigation into rare and unusual clots.
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, out of a total of more than six million Americans who have received the J&J vaccine.
These individuals remain fully vaccinated and do not need to seek out an alternate vaccine.
People vaccinated with J&J should consult with their medial provider if they develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination.
The FDA said the investigation into clots is expected to last a “matter of days.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said it will follow the recommendations of the CDC and FDA to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
All Illinois COVID-19 providers have been notified to discontinue the use of the J&J vaccine until further notice.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is developing and implementing plans to move forward with COVID-19 vaccinations in Illinois.
“Public health officials made a commitment that any safety signals that came up concerning COVID-19 vaccines would be fully addressed in a transparent manner, which is what is occurring right now with the J&J vaccine,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “The blood clot cases appear to be extremely rare and there are no reported cases associated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines. IDPH is taking immediate action to ensure as little disruption to Illinois residents as possible during this pause, and I strongly encourage people to continue to get vaccinated. Millions upon millions of people have already been safely vaccinated and it will take millions more before we can put this pandemic behind us.”
Upon learning of the recommendation, IDPH took the following actions to ensure COVID-19 vaccine providers and health care workers in Illinois were aware of the pause and received the support they needed to adjust their planning:
- Immediately sent notification about the pause to COVID-19 providers, local health departments, and health care providers via the State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification system, which included follow-up calls, text, and emails.
- Directly emailed and called all local health departments through IDPH Emergency Response Coordinators, to assess impact and work to mitigate using Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
- Connected with all mass vaccination sites, Illinois National Guard vaccination missions, and one-day J&J clinics scheduled in EMTrack to develop alternate plans where necessary and ensure the least amount of disruption possible on individuals with appointments.
- Sent notification to hospitals, emergency departments, physicians, and other health care providers about treatment for this specific type of blood clot
Vaccine providers are being strongly advised to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in order to keep appointments.
IDPH said Moderna and Pfizer vaccines make up the vast majority of doses on hand in the State of Illinois.
The Southern Seven Health Department (S7HD) was scheduled to hold a J&J vaccine clinic at Shawnee Community College on Tuesday. S7HD has since canceled the clinic and stated that all other S7HD vaccination sites are administering the Moderna doses as previously scheduled.
Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department stated it will not be offering the J&J vaccine at a Walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic at The Pavilion in Marion on Tuesday. Bi-County will only be administering Pfizer and Moderna doses.
The Jackson County Health Department said all clinic scheduled to use the J&J vaccine will now be using the Pfizer vaccine, including the COVID-19 walk-in vaccine clinic at the Trico High School Gym in Campbell Hill on Tuesday. The health department said it will return to using the J&J vaccine if IDPH directs them to do so.