Dear Washington University students, faculty and staff,
As you may have seen in the news this morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Food and Drug Administration have recommended a “pause” in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The agencies have made this move out of an abundance of caution due to the identification of a rare, but serious potential side effect in approximately one per one million vaccine recipients.
Accordingly, we have canceled our vaccination clinic today on the Medical Campus, where we have been administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to our students, faculty and staff. Anyone with an appointment for today should have received a cancellation notice. We have been able to obtain a supply of Pfizer vaccine from our BJC partners. You will be notified when the clinic resumes.
More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the United States and there have been a total of six reported cases of individuals developing blood clots within two weeks of receiving the vaccine. Some cases have been serious, including one death. It is important to note that we do not yet know if these cases are due to the vaccine. We will follow the investigation closely and determine our next steps based on the findings and federal recommendations.
Anyone who has received any COVID-19 vaccine should pay close attention to potential side effects including headache, leg pain or swelling, or shortness of breath. If you experience an adverse reaction, faculty and staff should contact their personal physician, and students should contact Habif Health and Wellness Center at 314-935-6666. In addition, please report any side effects to the COVID Call Center at 314-362-5056.
We will provide an update when more information becomes available.
Eva Aagaard, MD
Senior Associate Dean for Education, School of Medicine
Interim Senior Administrator, Occupational Health
Associate Vice Chancellor for Health and Wellness