San Bernardino County this morning temporarily paused distribution and use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with recommendations made by state and federal health agencies.
The pause was issued in response to six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. None of the six cases were in California. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have been administered in the U.S.
“The county has no higher priority than the health and safety of our residents,” said Dr. Michael A. Sequeira, San Bernardino County Health Officer. “Although this condition is extremely rare among Johnson & Johnson recipients – much rarer than serious blood clots among those who contract COVID-19 – this pause is prudent pending further federal review.”
“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines remain widely available in our county and have proven to be safe and effective,” Sequeira said. “The public should remain confident in the nation’s COVID-19 vaccination effort.”
Anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine and who develops a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider, Sequeira said.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine accounts for 48,600, or 6.6%, of the 738,225 vaccine doses received in San Bernardino County. Pfizer accounts for 49.5% and Moderna 43.9%.
County-run vaccination clinics have primarily used the Pfizer vaccine. County-operated special vaccination events that had been scheduled to utilize the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine have been switched to Pfizer. Second-dose appointments will be made when the first doses are administered. Those who have appointments for those events are being notified. There are no plans to cancel events at this time.
The county has 8,500 doses of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine on hand. Those doses will be kept in storage pending further direction from the state and federal governments.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food & Drug Administration recommended a pause in the use of the Janssen vaccine today until a review by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convenes on Wednesday to review the six blood-clot cases.
Additional information is available on a fact sheet published by the county at http://www.sbcounty.gov/Uploads/CAO/Feature/Content/Vaccine_Update_4-13-21_FINAL.pdf.