With risk for COVID-19 exposure remaining high throughout Utah and the U.S., getting vaccinated is important to protect you, your loved ones and to help get life back to normal. Of course in all aspects of the pandemic, safety is a top priority, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has put a temporary pause on using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while they investigate rare cases of harmful blood clotting associated with the vaccine. University of Utah Health is following the CDC’s recommendation and has stopped giving out doses of that vaccine until they receive further guidance.
The potential reaction caused by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is extremely rare, occurring at a rate of less than one in a million. Out of an abundance of caution, people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and develop severe headache, abdominal pain or leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.
There are questions about whether or not pulling the J&J vaccine for now could cause a vaccine shortage. The answer is no. The large majority of COVID-19 vaccines distributed so far have been from Moderna and Pfizer and there are still plenty of doses available. If you are over 16 and haven’t been vaccinated yet, now is the time to get your shot.
Appointments are open in the U of U Health system for their patients as well as through many additional vaccine providers throughout Utah. If you are a patient at U of U Health you can schedule an appointment through MyChart or call the U’s COVID-19 hotline at 801-587-0712 or (toll free) 844-745-9325. To find appointments through other vaccine providers, visit vaccinefinder.org.