Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center recommends pause in distribution of J&J vaccine
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Echoing the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Great Plains Tribal Epidemiology Center (GPTEC) is advising the Oyate Health Center and other tribal health programs to pause the distribution of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
On April 12, 2021, the CDC and the FDA recommended a pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration due to 6 cases of a rare type of blood clot in people who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These individuals are not Oyate Health Center patients.
Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed symptoms of the blood clot 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots are all cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). The women also had low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia). All the reported clots occurred within 13 days of receiving the vaccination. There have been no reports of people getting these clots more than two weeks after receiving the vaccine.
“The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a federal advisory committee, will convene tomorrow to review these cases and possibly make further recommendations,” said GPTEC.
“The pause in vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will allow time for these cases to be investigated to see if there is an association with the vaccine,” added GPTEC.
COVID-19 vaccination rates across Indian Country have varied dramatically, with some communities flocking to the virus and others displaying high vaccination hesitancy rates. GPTEC, and the Oyate Health Center, however, are strongly encouraging community members to get vaccinated.
There have been no changes in recommendations for the other two COVID-19 vaccines with Emergency Use Authorization in the US, the Pfizer/Biontec and Moderna vaccines. These vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) should still be given. There have been over 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered in the United States.
Per CDC and FDA suggestions, the Oyate Health Center in Rapid City has suspended its Johnson and Johnson vaccine distribution.
You can read the full CDC and FDA statement here: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/joint-cdc-and-fda-statement-johnson-johnson-covid-19-vaccine