FAQs on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

Should I be worried if I recently received or want to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

A very small number of people have experienced a very rare blood clot disorder following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of April 12, nearly 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S., and the CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals that have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 14 days after vaccination.

These developments should provide some reassurance that all vaccines are continually monitored by the CDC and FDA to ensure the safety of their use. While these serious reactions to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are less than one per million of Johnson & Johnson vaccines administered, they are all fully investigated to ensure and confirm the safe use of each vaccine. This adverse event is rare, occurring at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between ages 18 and 49. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare. 

After reviewing all available safety data, the CDC and FDA recommend use of this vaccine given that the known and potential benefits outweigh the known and potential risks. All vaccines are continually monitored by the CDC and FDA to ensure the safety of their use. 

How should I put the possible risk of blood clots with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in context?

The risk of being infected with COVID-19 in an unvaccinated person resulting in hospitalization or death is much higher than the possible risk of a serious blood clot from the vaccine. Many patients with serious COVID-19 infections experience serious blood clots as a direct result of their infection, and these numbers are thousands of times higher than those possibly associated with the vaccine. Many patients with serious COVID-19 infections also experience serious blood clots as a direct result of their infection.  

What should I be looking for if I recently received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

For three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, seek medical care right away if you develop one more of these symptoms: severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site. These symptoms are not subtle if they occur.

Will Wake Forest Baptist Health give the Johnson & Johnson vaccine?

Yes. We are following the recommendation of the CDC and FDA and believe that the risk of adverse events from this vaccine are very rare and the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.  Benefits of this vaccine compared to mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) include a single injection and fewer local and systemic reactions.

What kind of COVID-19 vaccine will I receive at a Wake Forest Baptist Health vaccine clinic? 

View our list of upcoming vaccine clinics which also indicates which vaccine is offered. Vaccine appointments are available for ages 16 and up by calling 336-70-COVID (336-702-6843) or online through myWakeHealth for ages 18 and up. Walk-ins are also available at our vaccine clinics as noted. 

What is Wake Forest Baptist Health doing to help their clinicians know how to treat this kind of blood clot?

Treatment of blood clots due to immune or antibody responses is different from treating blood clots due to other causes. Wake Forest Baptist physicians have experience in treating blood clots, and federal, state and local public health authorities have emphasized suggested treatments in their communications with physicians.

Why are blood clots occurring following the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines but not in other vaccines?

It is not yet known why blood clots occur very rarely following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and we will continue to monitor information and follow the guidance from the CDC and FDA regarding these latest developments.

Are blood clots associated with Moderna or Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines?

Over 125 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccine have been given in the United States as of April 13, 2021, and no cases of the rare blood clots seen with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been reported.