Chester County Health Department Update on Pause of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine

vaccineImage by Ulrike Leone

WEST CHESTER, PA — Following guidance from federal and state health agencies, and out of an abundance of caution, the Chester County Health Department has paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This pause is scheduled to remain in place, per the PA Department of Health statewide order, until at least April 20.

The Chester County Health Department’s clinic at the Brandywine YMCA in Coatesville and the evening clinic at the Government Services Center in West Chester are the only clinics that were scheduled to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week.  Those sites have transitioned to administering the Moderna vaccine, and the Health Department has contacted everyone who had an appointment for the vaccine at those locations, to offer the Moderna vaccine instead.

The state directive to pause administration of the J&J vaccine until at least April 20 came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended holding back on the vaccine while it investigates a “rare and severe” type of blood clot that developed in six J& J vaccine recipients – all women between the ages of 18 and 48.  The six reported cases were among more than 6.8 million J&J doses administered in the U.S.

From tomorrow, April 14, to April 20, all Chester County Health Department vaccine clinics will be administering the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and all appointments originally scheduled for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be replaced by the Moderna vaccine.

“Everyone who was scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the coming week either has been, or will be offered the Moderna vaccine instead,” said Chester County Health Department Director Jeanne Franklin.

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“We are basing this on the decision to stop administering the J&J vaccine until April 20.  Should there be an extension to that date, we will re-evaluate, depending on the amount of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine we receive in the coming week.”

The Chester County Health Department has administered 7,070 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and was scheduled to administer a further 574 doses yesterday.

All of the Chester County Health Department clinics will remain open this week.  These are:

  • The Chester County Government Services Center in West Chester
  • West Chester University’s Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
  • Jennersville YMCA
  • Kimberton Fire Company
  • Brandywine YMCA in Coatesville
  • The Phoenixville Senior Center, the Brandywine Valley Active Aging Center (Coatesville) and the Oxford Area Senior Center.

The Chester County Health Department notes that anyone who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and develops severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of their vaccination should contact their health care provider. For more information, find the CDC/FDA statement here.

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