Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine statement

J&J COVID-19 Vaccine Risk ComparisonAdventist Health is deeply committed to the care and safety of our patients. The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be an effective tool to protect individuals from contracting the virus and was developed with rigorous processes and procedures to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is approved for use.

We are closely following the CDC and FDA guidance for safety regarding the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine and have lifted our two-week pause in administering this vaccine to our patients.

The CDC and FDA have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 after a thorough review of available data and in consultation with medical experts and recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. The FDA has determined that the vaccine's known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.

The pause was recommended in response to six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals following administration of the J&J vaccine. The number of cases since has increased to 15, including the original six. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All 15 cases involved women between the ages of 18 and 59, with a median age of 37, and symptoms occurred between six and 15 days after vaccination.

According to the CDC:

  • The risk of severe allergic reaction to COVID-19 vaccines in general is two to five per 1 million doses
  • The risk of blood clots with low platelets following J&J vaccine is less than two per 1 million doses
  • The risk of death after contracting COVID-19 is 500 to 90,000 out of 1 million people, depending on age/comorbidities

People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their healthcare provider.

Adventist Health is also administering Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. Patients who prefer one vaccine over another can contact the clinic where they made an appointment to receive the vaccine. We will work with patients to switch vaccines if there is available supply to accommodate the request.

We will continue to support and protect our communities against the spread of COVID-19.