CDC Lifts Pause on Johnson and Johnson Vaccine

The CDC has lifted the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A Cleveland Clinic doctor talks about the efficacy of the vaccine and what symptoms to look out for after you receive the single-dose shot.

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CLEVELAND – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has decided to resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It was recently put on hold after six women, who were all under the age of 50 years old, developed rare blood clots.

“One of the things that we committed to when we were developing these vaccines, was that we will make sure they are safe. And so a lot of different agencies, the CDC, the FDA, continue to look at all the things that are happening to people who have received the vaccine,” said Michelle Medina, MD, Cleveland Clinic.

The CDC has added a safety warning for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as a result of those cases, noting that women under the age of 50 should be aware of the rare but increased risks for blood clots.

So what kind of symptoms are expected after receiving the single-dose shot?

Dr. Medina said the most common typically include a sore arm, feeling tired or running a low grade fever.

However, if after about a week to two weeks later, you start experiencing a sudden severe headache, chest pain, leg pain, abdominal pain, vomiting or shortness of breath, you should seek medical care right away.

She said she still has confidence in the vaccine and encourages others to get it.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a very effective vaccine. It prevents COVID infection in a number of people, up to about 70%, and it prevents severe disease in as much as 85% of people who have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson. It’s also the only vaccine that can be given as a single dose,” said Dr. Medina.

Data shows nearly 8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been distributed in the United States. The CDC said they will continue to closely monitor the vaccine and make any necessary changes as needed.

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