Island Hospital has decided to pause the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine following the CDC, FDA and Washington State Department of Health recommendation made this morning related to six rare blood clotting cases. The Moderna vaccine will be administered in its place until further notice.

Island Hospital is committed to patient safety and is pausing on the J&J vaccine out of an abundance of caution for the community. Out of seven million J&J vaccinations given, there has been a total of six identified cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a rare blood clotting disorder. All cases occurred in women ages 18 to 48. The FDA and CDC will review the data and provide recommendations to healthcare providers for future use.

Mild side effects are to be expected after receiving any COVID-19 vaccine. Common side effects may include:

  • Pain at the site of the injection
  • Painful, swollen lymph nodes in the arm where the vaccine was injected
  • Tiredness
  • Headache
  • Muscle or joint aches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever or chills

A severe reaction is considered any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Swelling of the face and throat
  • Rash
  • Low blood pressure

If you experience a severe reaction, go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately. 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. Patients who received the J&J vaccine over three weeks ago are at very low risk for this complication.

It is still the current recommendation to get any available vaccine as the health risk from the pandemic is significant. Out of 121 million people vaccinated nationally, and each vaccination given with intensive safety monitoring, no serious issues have been identified with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Please note that Island Hospital is required to use all the vaccines that have been allotted to us. You can help us by arriving to your appointment on time. If you need to cancel your appointment, please go through the self-service link sent to you via email or text message to cancel your appointment. If you cannot cancel online, please leave a message at 360-299-1377.

To check for appointment availability, please go online and self-schedule at:

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Published on April 13, 2021