J&J pause update

Yesterday the ACIP (Advisor Committee on Immunization Practices) met to discuss the J&J data regarding the potential risk of CVST clots. As a reminder, ACIP is made up of experts that are external to CDC, FDA, and J&J – these experts come from really diverse fields of immunology, epidemiology, clinical expertise (MD, etc), policy, and infectious diseases.

✅ Here are my main takeaways:

◾ 1. The 6 cases of rare clots they were looking into (and that I talked about in my previous post here: J&J Vaccine Pause (emily-smith.net) are different than other clots you might already know of (like PE or DVT). These are CVST with low platelets. Why does this matter? The treatment regimens for these specific types of clots are different than other clots. So accurate diagnoses will lead to better treatment.

◾ 2. This pause will help gather more data to inform doctors of what they should be looking out for in case someone presents with CVST symptoms. Again, accurate diagnosis will lead to the best treatment.

◾ 3. A causal link has not been established. But, the pause will let the ACIP committee gather more data over the next few weeks to see if the CVST clots occur in others who received a vaccine. This will give a “wash out” period of a few weeks since these clots occurred with 3 weeks after vaccination.

◾ 4. If you want more details about yesterday’s meeting, YLE did a great cliff notes version here: JJ: Emergency ACIP meeting cliff notes – Your Local Epidemiologist (substack.com)

✅ I want to end this post with speaking to you women who recently received J&J and are nervous. I also got J&J so I understand the mind-games that happen. We KNOW the risk is REALLY LOW – but, your mind may still make you nervous. Y’all, I get that. I hope this can help ease your anxieties with the following points:

◾ Remember these are very, very rare. And, all occurrences have been within 3 weeks of vaccination (most were within 2 weeks). My trusted MD friends that it is extremely unlikely occurrences will occur after that time.

◾ Symptoms to monitor for include a severe headache, belly/gut pain, shortness of breath, or leg pain/swelling. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop those.

◾ Try to remember to breathe. =) I’m not downplaying these occurrences – if you have had a clot of any kind you know those can be scary. Breathing, talking to someone, getting outside, doing what you need to do to overcome those mind-games are a good idea.

◾ For those of you who already struggle with anxiety or depression, this news does not help – even knowing how very rare they are. =) I saw many of you talking about that in the comments in my previous J&J post, and I wish I could just give you a hug. So, do what you have to do to take care of yourself this week.

◾ I’m linking to this post from our gal-pal friends over Dear Pandemic. They wrote a great post about this issue too titled “I got the J&J shot and I’m freaking out…what do I do?”: I got the J&J shot and now I’m freaking out… what should I do? — Dear Pandemic

Take care, friends.


My original J&J post: J&J Vaccine Pause (emily-smith.net)

YLE’s post on the J&J ACIP meeting: JJ: Emergency ACIP meeting cliff notes – Your Local Epidemiologist (substack.com)

Dear Pandemic’s post on “I got the J&J shot and now I’m freaking out…what do I do?”: I got the J&J shot and now I’m freaking out… what should I do? — Dear Pandemic

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