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Virginia Department of Health ceases distribution of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

From: University Relations

On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called for a pause on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after six recipients in the United States developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination.

Danny Avula, vaccination coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), issued a statement that said VDH would cease all Johnson & Johnson vaccines until the investigation was completed. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will be used for ongoing vaccinations. (Note: The Moderna vaccine will be used primarily for the April 15 vaccination clinic at Lane Stadium. Those who are under 18 will receive the Pfizer vaccine. Read this notice for details.)

Virginia residents who have made an appointment to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be contacted to make arrangements to get either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health-care provider or call 911 if it is a medical emergency. Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine more than a month ago are at very low risk of developing adverse symptoms.

Individuals can sign up for v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine. Through v-safe, people can quickly tell CDC if they have any side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information and to stay informed about developments, visit the VDH website.

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