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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

NKY Health Vaccination Clinics Pause Johnson & Johnson, Switch to Moderna Vaccine

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The Northern Kentucky Health Department announced today that they are pausing the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reported cases of blood clots in individuals that were administered the vaccine. They are switching to Moderna's version of the Covid-19 vaccine until more information is know. 

The CDC and FDA announced that they are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in those individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine.

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine have been
administered in the U.S. including doses in Northern Kentucky from NKY Health and pharmacies. NKY Health has given 2,200 doses of J & J and has not had a report of this adverse event to date.

“Right now, these events appear to be very rare. However, until we learn more from the FDA, CDC, and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, we are taking reasonable actions to pause the use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine in our vaccination clinics and will instead use the Moderna vaccine,” said Lynne Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health for the Northern Kentucky Health Department.

According to a release, participants 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. 

"Describe the symptoms and that you have been vaccinated with J & J in the past three weeks so that it can be taken into consideration for your diagnosis and treatment," a release by the department instructed. 

Health care providers need to be aware of the potential for these adverse events in order to plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot. Health care providers should report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at

"COVID-19 vaccine safety is a priority for all of us in public health and health care,” said Dr. Saddler. 

“This is why there is such an extensive reporting system in place to track and investigate adverse reactions and to pause the use of vaccine when necessary - even with extremely rare events – to make sure we all understand what is happening before proceeding.”

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