The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) is sharing information regarding the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently recommending that out of an abundance of caution, the use of J&J vaccine be paused following six reports of an extremely rare type of blood clot in the US. To-date, TCHD has administered a total of 130 doses of J&J vaccine to members of the Tompkins County community.
TCHD planned to administer J&J vaccine through a local ‘College Student Vaccination Day’ this Thursday, April 15. Due to the national pause of J&J distribution, TCHD is canceling the "College Student Vaccination Day" including Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College. This cancellation follows CDC and New York State Department of Health guidance to pause administration of the J&J vaccine. Students will receive additional communications directly from their respective institution.
TCHD will continue to administer Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at local vaccination clinics and offer appointments to individuals on the Tompkins County Vaccine Registry. Any individuals who have an appointment at a State-run site (Syracuse, Binghamton, Corning, etc.) today (April 13) for J&J vaccine will be offered Pfizer vaccine.
The J&J vaccine has been administered to over 6.8 million individuals in the United States to-date and has proven to be effective at preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19. The CDC is reviewing the six blood clot cases and will provide further guidance to states and local health departments. TCHD will communicate updates to the community as more details become available.
The CDC is advising that adverse events related to the J&J vaccine appear to be extremely rare, and that 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 health care provider. If you would like assistance finding a primary care provider, call the local Physician Referral Center at (607) 274-4615.
Tompkins County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa stated, “Safety of the vaccine is a top priority on the local, state, and national level. This pause is out of an abundance of caution as the CDC studies this issue further. We are continuing to vaccinate this week using Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, and will communicate available appointments though our registry.” Kruppa continued, “These adverse reactions are extremely rare, and at this time there is not an immediate concern regarding our local population who received Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. Everyone, regardless of the vaccine they received, should monitor their health.”