What to know if you just got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

I got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Monday afternoon, the similar day that my California county opened up vaccinations to individuals underneath the age of fifty. Twelve hours later, I wakened to the information that the CDC and FDA had really useful a right away pause in the use of the vaccine as they examine a possible hyperlink to a uncommon sort of harmful blood clots. What now?

If you just acquired the vaccine, the very first thing to perceive is that the danger of the blood clots appears to be terribly low. Out of greater than 6.8 million individuals who acquired the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. up to now, solely six later skilled cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, blood clots that type in the veins that drain from the mind. “That is actually a one in 1,000,000 sort of occasion,” says Gigi Gronvall, senior scholar at the Middle for Well being Safety at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Well being. “It seems to be tremendous, tremendous, tremendous uncommon.”

It’s not clear but that the circumstances have been linked to the vaccine, although uncommon circumstances of the same situation additionally occurred in a small quantity of people that got the AstraZeneca vaccine, which hasn’t but been accepted to be used in the U.S. Each the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines use a innocent virus that tips cells into producing the COVID-19 spike protein in order that the physique can later higher battle off the precise virus, although the two vaccines are biologically completely different.


Officers will now examine the circumstances of the individuals who have been affected after taking the J&J vaccine. All have been girls between the ages of 18 and 48 (what number of of the 6.8 million complete individuals who acquired the shot are on this demographic is unclear). It’s doable that there could also be a commonality between them, and that folks might probably be examined earlier than receiving the vaccine to display screen out those that are at extra danger. However little is understood up to now about why it could be taking place.

“It’s undoubtedly going to want some extra investigation and a whole lot of information gathering to attempt to determine if that is one thing that has to do with the class of vaccines, or potential different interactions,” Gronvall says. “Folks ought to take no matter consolation they’ve to know that that is the manner the system is meant to work—we’re investigating any potential unwanted effects and we’ll make a dedication if it’s one thing that folks want to be apprehensive about. This isn’t one thing that’s political. It’s led by the out there medical and scientific information.” The pause is probably going to final just for days, an FDA official stated as we speak. That’s nonetheless a significant setback for the vaccine rollout at a important time

Federal officers additionally need to take time to educate docs about how to deal with this sort of blood clots, which is completely different than the blood clots that typically happen if persons are caught sitting on a aircraft for hours. The traditional remedy includes a blood thinner known as heparin, however on this case, heparin might really make issues worse. It’s not clear what steps, if any, individuals who acquired the vaccine may find a way to take upfront to assist keep away from an antagonistic response.

If you got the J&J vaccine inside three weeks, the CDC recommends contacting your physician if you expertise signs like extreme headache, belly or leg ache, and shortness of breath. (Any potential unwanted effects may also be reported by way of a CDC device known as V-safe that tracks reactions to the COVID vaccines.) Nevertheless it’s extremely unlikely that it’ll occur—and you’re now much more protected against COVID, which continues to be infecting tens of 1000’s of People a day. “The information of the efficacy of the vaccine is actually superior,” Gronvall says. “So you ought to really feel very assured that what you got goes to actually assist shield you towards COVID. And we’re all dwelling with the dangers of that.”