Worry about the safety of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen experimental human advenovirus COVID-19 vaccine persists after a ten-day pause on distribution of the vaccine earlier this year. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warnings of heart and neurological issues and, most recently, a published study suggesting that the J&J vaccine is far less effective against the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-02 have added to public confidence issues. Despite acknowledged potential risks and public hesitancy about use of the vaccine, on July 22, 2021 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researcher Hannah Rosenbaum told the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) that the vaccine is still safe despite potential risks.
In April 2021, federal health agencies called for a nationwide pause on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to examine a blood clotting disorder that emerged in six women who received the vaccine. Ten days after issuing the pause, the FDA and CDC lifted the pause, reassuring the public that health officials had conducted “a thorough safety review.” Prior to the nationwide pause, several individual states including North Carolina, Colorado, and Georgia stopped distribution of the J&J vaccine after reports of adverse reactions, which included some hospitalizations. At the time Centura Health, a large Colorado healthcare organization, stated they would no longer administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at their drive-up locations, citing both shortages and the prevalence of adverse reactions. Read more from The Vaccine Reaction.