The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is instructing vaccinators in the state to stop using the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine for now.
Federal agencies are reviewing adverse side effects of the vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement saying six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis have been reported in the U.S. out of 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses given.
“We are pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. At this time, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Vaccine providers should not administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at this time, and should hold on to the vaccine until federal review has been completed.”
Vaccinators are being told to properly store the vaccine in the meantime.
This pause will allow CDC to determine if there are any further cases of this clotting disorder and to provide health care providers with guidance on how to treat this rare condition.
People who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should monitor for the following symptoms three weeks after their vaccination: severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. Symptoms associated with these severe events have occurred six to 13 days after vaccine receipt. Contact your health care provider and use the v-safe program to report your symptoms.
The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines continue to remain extremely safe vaccines. DHS encourages everyone eligible to get the vaccine to continue with their vaccination, especially in light of variants. Wisconsin continues to have a good supply of these vaccines; 96% of the doses administered in the state have been Pfizer and Moderna.
Michigan issued similar instructions to its vaccinators.