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Safety First: Resuming the J&J Vaccine

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Updated May 25, 2021

Johns Hopkins Medicine has resumed use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine, based on guidance from the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read about why the J&J vaccine was paused and what we know now.

Download article as a PDF | en español

  • Public Safety

    A small number of women developed rare blood clots with low levels of platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS) after being vaccinated with the J&J vaccine. Out of concern for the public’s safety, The U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) asked health care providers across the country to stop using the J&J vaccine until they could learn more about the risk.

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  • Pausing Allows Time to Check Safety

    A small number of people have developed a serious blood clot condition after they received the J&J vaccine. Nearly all reports of this problem have been in adult women younger than age 50. The FDA and CDC paused the vaccine and investigated to determine the connection between the vaccine and TTS. They concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk of this very rare side effect. However, women younger than age 50 should be aware of this rare adverse event and should know that other COVID-19 vaccines are available.

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  • Know the Symptoms for Rare Reaction

    TTS is serious, but also very rare and treatable when diagnosed promptly. Get medical help immediately if you have any of these symptoms within 3 weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine:

    • Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
    • Shortness of breath
    • Chest pain
    • Leg swelling
    • Persistent abdominal pain
    • Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin near the injection site
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  • Vaccination Continues with All Three Vaccines

    All three FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccines are now being given at Johns Hopkins Medicine: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, for the ages allowed. We regard all three as highly effective in preventing serious disease, hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

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  • Future Steps with J&J Vaccine

    Johns Hopkins Medicine will continue to stay informed of any new findings relating to the COVID-19 vaccines and will adjust our vaccination programs in accordance with any state or federal guidelines to support patient safety.

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