The State of Nevada today announced it will pause the use of the Janssen / Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the safety of Nevadans. The decision follows the release of a joint statement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which recommended the pause “out of an abundance of caution” due to several serious adverse reactions to the vaccine.
The CDC is reviewing six reported cases of blood clots—specifically, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in combination with low levels of blood platelets—which occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48. None of the cases were in Nevada.
“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the agencies noted in the joint statement. Despite this, they’ve requested the pause to provide time for further investigation.
To date, more than 6.8 million doses of the Janssen vaccine have been administered nationwide. It has been used with two mobile vaccine units that have traveled to the state’s rural and frontier counties.
Officials at Nevada’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Nevada State Immunization Program are working with COVID-19 vaccine providers to alert them of the pause and ensure planned vaccine clinics can continue using an alternate vaccine. They’re also reaching out to individuals scheduled to receive the Janssen vaccine who may be affected by the pause.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are widely available in the state, as are vaccine appointments.
According to health officials, people who have received the Janssen vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.