In response to the joint announcement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Colorado Joint Vaccine Task Force has implemented a temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution. San Miguel County Public Health is actively responding by shifting existing Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine clinics to offer the Moderna vaccine at this time.

After reviewing six reports of individuals in the United States who got rare and severe blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) scheduled an emergency meeting tomorrow, April 14, to further review the cases and assess their potential significance. The Food and Drug Administration will continue to investigate and will review the findings of the emergency meeting. The state will share additional information on how this affects Coloradans as soon as it becomes available.

With 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine having been administered to date, these six cases are extremely rare according to the CDC. All six cases were women between the ages of 18 and 48 and all developed symptoms one to three weeks after vaccination.

Anyone who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the last three weeks and who develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider. These symptoms are different from the flu-like symptoms people may experience after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with a history of clotting or symptoms of blood clots should schedule an appointment with a primary care provider to discuss.

“Vaccination remains our way out of this pandemic. Pfizer and Moderna are safe and viable options as we gain clarity from the findings of the ACIP’s review of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Grundy. “This is exactly why post-vaccine check-in systems like V-safe and VAERS are being utilized. Be sure to pay close attention to your health in the days and weeks after your vaccine.”

In response to this pause, San Miguel County Public Health will offer the Moderna vaccine to registered recipients at tomorrow’s vaccine clinic in Telluride. Recipients scheduled for the vaccine clinic on Friday, April 16 in Norwood will have an opportunity to receive the Moderna vaccine on Thursday, April 15. All registered recipients have been notified at this time. For those with an existing vaccine appointment that have not received notification, please contact Dawn Ibis by email [email protected] or by phone (970) 708-8670.

“People are getting protected every day,” said Governor Jared Polis in a press conference. “This pause recommended by the FDA and CDC is designed to increase public confidence in the vaccines. We want people to know the vaccines are safe and effective.”

For those interested in receiving a Moderna vaccine, walk-ins are welcome at the Telluride Middle School Gym tomorrow, April 14, from 11 am to 1 pm and 1:45 pm to 3:45 pm or at Norwood’s Lonecone Library on Thursday, April 15, from 11 am to 2 pm. Additional appointments are available through online registration here.

Full release here.