Federal and state health agencies have called for a pause in the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine due to concerns of a very rare side effect that could cause blood clots.
At the time that the pause was announced, nearly seven million people in the United States had already received Johnson & Johnson shots. The pause was announced after six women, between the ages of 18 and 48, developed serious blood clots. All of these individuals developed the condition within approximately two weeks of vaccination.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, and Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC said in a joint statement to The New York Times, “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.” The pause in administration, and ensuing meetings by the CDC are in part, “ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can provide proper management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”
Typically, these clots are treated with heparin. In the rare case that it occurs in a patient who received the J&J shot, it should be treated in other ways. Aspirin should also be avoided. If you have received the J&J vaccine and develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, contact your health care provider or seek medical care.