After a temporary pause, the Centers for Disease Control and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend use of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine resume in the United States, and the state of Illinois moved immediately to begin vaccinations this week.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, about 760,000 doses of the J&J vaccine were allocated to Illinois before the pause, of which approximately 290,000 were administered.
So, if you were one of those people who received the vaccine, what should you do?
And is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe now?
Here are the answers to those two questions:
Blood Clots Are Incredibly Rare
The CDC says the risks are extremely low and that benefits far outweigh its known and potential risks.
After initial reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot — called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome — in individuals who had received the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, 15 total cases were found during the pause.
The CDC says the occurrence represents a rate of about seven per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old.
To put that in perspective, a ratio of seven to 1 million is 0.000007 — or a 99.9993% chance you won’t get a blood clot.
Put another way, the chances of being struck by lightning in your lifetime is 1 in 15,300, according to the most recent data from the National Weather Service. You are nine times LESS likely to get a blood clot from the J&J vaccine — if you’re a woman between 18 and 49 years old — than you are of being struck by lightning.
For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.
What To Do If You’ve Had or Want The J&J Vaccine
If you’ve received a J&J shot or if you are considering taking one, here’s what the CDC suggests:
For three weeks after receiving the vaccine, you should be on the lookout for possible symptoms of a blood clot with low platelets. These include:
- Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site
Seek medical care right away if you develop one or more of these symptoms. And if you have any questions or concerns, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic.
SOURCE: CDC website