The Illinois Department of Public Health has put a pause on the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The CDC and FDA said today that they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation.
In accordance with that investigation, IDPH is pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine throughout the state. IDPH has notified all Illinois COVID-19 providers throughout the state to discontinue use of that vaccine at this time, and in order to keep appointments, is advising providers to switch to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. IDPH says that the vast majority of vaccine in the state is made up of Pfizer and Moderna doses. This week, the state’s allocation of J&J was 17,000 doses. For the week of April 18th the expected allocation for the State is 483,720 total doses. Of that total allocation, 5,800 doses were expected to be J&J.
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. IDPH says they will continue to update the public as additional information is made available.