The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) in Ohio County. This decision is based on recommendations from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as careful consideration and close review by the health department.
The 11-day pause was taken as a precaution after cases of a rare but severe type of blood clot were reported following administration of the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a blood clot in the brain formed, which is called thrombosis. This is coupled with low blood platelets, known as thrombocytopenia. When those both occur after a vaccine, it is referred to as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
The warning signs of TTS include severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, and/or shortness of breath. People experiencing TTS symptoms following vaccination should contact their healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately. At this time, available data suggest the chance of TTS is very low – with only 15 cases identified out of about 8 million vaccines administered nationwide – and the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reaffirm its recommendation of the J&J vaccine for those 18 and older. ACIP recommended the FDA include a warning statement, and for J&J to provide an information sheet at vaccination that informs people about the increased risk of TTS.