Resources on Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Suspension

Information Provided by the Anticoagulation Forum

Following six reported cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine in the US, the CDC and FDA are recommending a pause in the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine pending further review.

Per the CDC Health Alert (April 13, 2021):

  • As of April 12, 2021, approximately 6.85 million doses of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the US
  • The CDC and FDA are reviewing data from six US cases of CVST in individuals after receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. One patient died.
  • In these cases, CVST was seen in combination with thrombocytopenia
  • All six cases occurred among women aged 18–48 years
  • The interval from vaccine receipt to symptom onset ranged from 6-13 days
  • Providers should maintain a high index of suspension for symptoms that might represent serious thrombotic events or thrombocytopenia in patients who have recently received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine
  • Based on studies conducted among the patients diagnosed with immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Europe, the pathogenesis of these rare and unusual adverse events after vaccination may be associated with platelet-activating antibodies against platelet factor-4 (PF4)
  • In this setting, the use of heparin may be harmful, and alternative treatments need to be given (see links to clinical pathways below in ‘Information for Clinicians’)
  • On April 13, 2021, the CDC and FDA recommend a pause in the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution
  • The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has suggested extension of this pause for at least another week as they continue review the data

Information for Clinicians

The evidence regarding the incidence and treatment of thrombosis associated with the J&J COVID-19 vaccine is still preliminary and the situation continues to be quite fluid. Similarities exist between reports of thrombosis with the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine currently in use outside of the US.

Clinical recommendations for the identification and treatment of such cases may therefore be informative for clinicians until more definitive guidance becomes available.

Available resources include, but are not limited to:

Information for the Public

News regarding adverse effects associated with COVID-19 vaccines may create confusion and erode vaccine confidence among members of the public.

Multiple organizations have produced high-quality, public-facing resources that explain potential risks in the full context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Available resources include, but are not limited to: