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Posted: April 13, 2021

Photo courtesy Indian Health Service

Indian Health Service Statement

April 13, 2021


IHS Pauses Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine out of an Abundance of Caution

At the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and out of an abundance of caution, IHS has paused all Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine administration as they review data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals receiving the vaccine. 

IHS would like to stress that these events appear to be extremely rare; however, COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government and we are taking all reports of adverse events seriously. 

IHS has vaccine safety monitoring systems in place. To date, there have been no cases reported through IHS of the rare and severe type of blood clot seen in some individuals who have received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

This announcement will not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan: Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine makes up approximately 1.5% percent of our recorded shots in arms to date and less than 5% across the entire U.S. IHS does not expect this pause to affect IHS’ goal of fully vaccinating 44 percent of its active adult patients by the end of April.

IHS employees have been advised to reach out to patients that may already have an appointment scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine and offer Pfizer and Moderna vaccines when available and appropriate.

The IHS, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a comprehensive health service delivery system for approximately 2.6 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who belong to 574 federally recognized tribes in 37 states. Follow the agency via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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