Statement on Johnson & Johnson vaccine

(Salt Lake City) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) is today recommending vaccine providers temporarily pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The pause is to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) time to investigate reports of a rare, treatable type of blood clots experienced by a small number of people who received the vaccine.

More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States, and six people have reported experiencing blood clots. Nearly 77,000 Johnson & Johnson doses have been administered in Utah with no reports of blood clots among those patients.

“Even though these cases have occurred in just one out of every one-million people who have received the vaccine, and even though it will slow our efforts to vaccinate Utah residents against COVID-19, calling for this pause is the right thing to do,” said Rich Saunders, UDOH executive director. “It’s critical the public be confident in the COVID-19 vaccines, and in order to build and maintain that confidence reports like these must be taken seriously and fully investigated to determine what role, if any, the vaccine played.”

The UDOH will coordinate closely with the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the coming days and will determine how to move forward based on those agency’s review of the situation.

The two other COVID-19 vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna, represent the significant majority of doses administered in Utah and are unaffected by this announcement. More than 1.8 million doses of those vaccines have been administered in Utah.