County Follows CDC Recommendation to Resume Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
Update by Santa Barbara County Public Health Department
April 26, 2021
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine locally, at the direction of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). A thorough safety review was conducted by various health agencies including the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, an entity unique to California and other west coast states, has also concluded that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective and resuming use of the vaccine is recommended.
Earlier this month, the CDC and FDA recommended a temporary pause in use of the J&J vaccine and Santa Barbara County took part in this pause. Of the nearly 8 million doses administered of the J&J vaccine nationally, there have been about 12 cases reported of a rare and severe type of blood clot. No cases of this rare blood clot have been reported in someone who has received the J&J vaccine in Santa Barbara County. During the pause, available data was examined and extensive outreach was made to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events. Clinicians now have guidance on administration of a unique treatment required 6 to 13 days after vaccination in people experiencing symptoms of adverse reaction to the vaccine. These agencies determined the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19, the vaccine known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. Vaccine safety monitoring will continue and any new information will be thoroughly reviewed.
“We are highly encouraged that federal and state health officials have undergone their reviews and have drawn similar conclusions in the safety and efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We acknowledge that our community may still have reservations but please know that Public Health remains committed to providing transparency about the vaccines being administered and also providing different options countywide for vaccination,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director. “Safety is a top priority in this effort and this pause was an example of the vaccination safety review system working as intended. These pauses are intended to provide transparency and information to our community.”
The J&J vaccine will be available in select efforts this week through the Public Health’s Mobile Vaccine Program. Participants will be given the option to select a different vaccine if they would like. Other vaccine opportunities with the J&J vaccine may also become available beginning as early as this week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines available locally, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/ or call 2-1-1 and select option 4. The County Call Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
CDC Recommends Resumed Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
By edhat staff
April 23, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine after a brief pause over concern for blood clots.
On Friday, U.S. vaccine advisors urged resuming the single-dose shot, stating its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clots. An updated warning will be added to the label.
Federal health officials discovered 15 vaccine recipients out of nearly 8 million who received the shot developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot. All patients were women mostly under the age of 50. Three died, and seven are hospitalized.
The CDC's Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices worried that removing one of only three available COVID-19 vaccines would slow efforts to immunize the population against a virus that has claimed more than half a million lives. They also agreed that a single dose without the need for specialized freezers is valuable for those who are unable to make a second appointment.
The committee voted 10 in favor, four opposed, with one abstention. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now recommended for persons 18 years of age and older in the U.S. population under the FDA's emergency use authorization.
The CDC advised pausing administration of the vaccine eleven days ago while health officials investigated the rare cases.
Medical clinicians will be on a call next week with the CDC to learn about the changed recommendations and symptoms and treatments for thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).