CDC and FDA Pause Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19; vaccine
​This week, the CDC and FDA announced a pause to the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine after six cases of a rare type of blood clot​ developed in individuals who received the vaccine. The CDC discovered these six cases through the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), showing the importance and effectiveness of these national surveillance systems and that COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority. They are recommending this pause to prepare the health care system to recognize and treat patients appropriately, and to report severe events they may be seeing in people who have received the J&J vaccine.  
The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday, April 14, to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. It is important to note that these events are extremely rare and have only been reported in six individuals of the 6.85 million doses administered.  
This is important to long term care because the J&J vaccine was the primary vaccine being allocated to long term care pharmacies enrolled in the CDC's Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. While many states are providing allocations of their own to long term care pharmacies, this was the only vaccine available through the federal program. AHCA/NCAL is calling on​ the Biden Administration to promptly allocate Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to these settings in order to fill the gap caused by the J&J pause.  ​​