After a brief pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Utah state health officials gave the OK on Friday for vaccine providers to start using the vaccine again. For people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before its pause, the decision to briefly stop giving it was stressful.
Because the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines required two doses, many people were excited to get the one-dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. But after multiple cases of blood clotting, the Centers for Disease Control reported a pause on the vaccine on April 13.
Health officials in Utah announced last week that distributors can use the vaccine again, but the pause still worried Utahns who received the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Gossner’s Foods, a local milk and cheese plant located in Logan, offered a Johnson & Johnson vaccine to their employees on April 8. Angelica Cortez is an employee that received the vaccine.
“I got it Thursday, and by Monday a coworker and I were scared when another coworker told us that Johnson & Johnson had been suspended. I was scared all day, and I still am, because they say that we are still on trial,” said Cortez.
The CDC reported, “People who have received the J&J/Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine within the past three weeks who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should seek medical care right away.”
At least 15 people, all women, out of the 8 million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine developed the rare blood clot disorder. On Friday, the CDC advisory board voted 10-4 to start using the vaccine again. Health officials say women who are worried about developing blood clots from the vaccine can consult with their doctor or select a different vaccine.
Cortez knows it is recommended to get vaccinated, and although she was pro-vaccine, she would encourage people to wait on getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of the risk, although low, of getting blood clots.
“They recommend us to get vaccinated,” Cortez said. “If I would've known, I wouldn't have gotten it.”