VAPIHCS Veterans,  

 This past Tuesday, the CDC and FDA’s decided to pause use of the J&J/Janssen vaccine after receiving reports of blood clotting in six people out of the over 6,800,000 people in the United States who have received the J&J vaccine. Per the national guidelines, VA is pausing the use of the J&J vaccine as the CDC and FDA continue their review. VA has not seen these serious side effects in the more than 100,000 people we have vaccinated with the J&J product at VA and the J&J vaccine has not been removed from the market.

 While it is highly unlikely that you will experience any serious adverse reactions outside of the common flu-like symptoms seen in the first day or two after vaccination, we are reaching out to ensure you are informed. The six people that had a blood clot were women under the age of 48 and experienced this adverse event within two weeks of receiving the J&J COVID-19 vaccine As such, VA is calling all women 55 years and younger that received the J&J vaccine to check on their health and wellbeing. We are also conducting this wellness check on everyone who received the J&J vaccine by US mail.

 People who received their vaccine at least 3 weeks ago have a low risk of developing a blood clot. The general symptoms from a blood clot include severe headaches, blurred vision, fainting, seizures, pain in your abdomen (chest or stomach), leg pain or swelling, or shortness of breath. We are asking Veterans to contact us if they had any of these symptoms within the last 3 weeks and to seek emergency care or dial 9-1-1 if symptoms are severe.

 Your health and safety are our number one priority. We are here to answer any questions and to assist you as needed. Please contact your primary care team at 1-800-214-1306 dial 0.

 We will continue to update the VA vaccine website with what we learn about the J&J vaccine. https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/

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