Our staff have been receiving requests for information related to administration of vaccines at Crescent Community Health Center (Crescent). In particular, there are a number of patients and families concerned about the recent nation-wide halt of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to concern about blood clots in a small number of vaccine recipients. A similar report and investigation occurred related to the vaccine made by AstraZeneca, which is in use in other countries. We would like to reassure all our patients and community members that the vaccines given by Crescent are not made by Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca. The only vaccine manufacturers that we have used are Pfizer and Moderna. All the patients being contacted or scheduled for second doses received, or are planned to receive, one of these two vaccines. These have been in use the longest, and have the best safety record. We do not have any plans to use Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines in the near future.
As with all vaccines, there is the possibility of side effects, and some people do report feeling ill after receiving these vaccines. However, for most people, symptoms can be managed with routine over-the-counter medications, and symptoms usually resolve within a day or two. These symptoms are one way to know that your immune system has recognized something new and is mounting a response.
The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control are proceeding with an investigation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, to find out if the side effects reported are caused by the vaccine, and likely to continue to happen. This halt and investigation do not prove that there is a problem. Rather this shows that safety monitoring is happening as it should, and these organizations are doing exactly what they are supposed to do, which is to make sure that vaccines, as well as medications and medical devices, are safe for people to use, and work they way they are supposed to. We all are waiting to hear if there is reason to be concerned about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and if there is any group that should or should not receive this vaccine. It is worth remembering that the overwhelming majority of people who have already received this vaccine have not had significant adverse reactions.
Please feel free to reach out by calling 563.690.2863 if you have questions for yourself or a family member. We strive to always partner with our patients to bring about and maintain good health, and these vaccines are one important part of that effort.