J&J returned to circulation
Snohomish County offers vaccine again
Last updated 4/30/2021 at 9:52am
The safety review of the J&J is complete, and the COVID-19 vaccination will be returned to the mix.
In Snohomish County, some J&J appointments were available as of April 29, but are not yet re-established at the Angel of the Winds Arena, in Everett, said Kari Bray, communications coordinator for Snohomish County Health District. That mass vaccination site was previously the home for only J&J, and it remains closed for now.
“The sites we have that have appointments open for vaccination are Ash Way, Arlington, Monroe, and Boom City. Boeing Everett Activity Center and Edmonds College also have been operating this week but appointments are full,” she said.
The vaccines being used at each site are listed with the registration links at http://bit.ly/snocovaccine. J&J requires only one shot, but is less effective than the mRNA vaccines.
The one-shot viral vector vaccine works by using a different virus to prompt immune-response in the body, and clinical trials show 85 percent effectiveness in preventing severe disease across all regions, 28 days post-vaccination, a news release from J&J said. The mRNA shots require two doses and show more than 90% efficacy.
For J&J, effectiveness was weighed against safety, in a review of 15 rare stroke occurrences that timed with the vaccine. The review was done out of an “abundance of caution,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, Health Officer for Snohomish Health District.
On Friday, April 23,the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices re-released the J&J vaccine for those 18 and older, with a warning statement.
The adverse effects that were under review related to 15 cases in 8 million doses, leading to additional warnings particularly for women under the age of 50. Symptoms arose six to 13 days after the vaccination.
The vaccine is still recommended for those 18 or older under an amended FDA emergency use authorization.
During the pause, about 170,000 doses of J&J were held by providers across the state, the DOH said. The three-week forecast from the federal government shows Washington will begin receiving more J&J the week of May 2 when 4,300 doses are expected to arrive, the DOH said.
Vaccine-hesitancy has been a concern of health officials prior to the J&J pause and after. So while the J&J safety profile is not in question by experts, they offer the option of choosing Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna if people are uncomfortable about vaccination, due to the review.
The standard advice for all who access vaccination is to cancel existing appointments, if they schedule elsewhere, to open up a time for someone else.
While rare, health officials warn that any symptoms that indicate a possible stroke require a call to medical providers. Symptoms are severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, and/or shortness of breath, the DOH said. People experiencing these symptoms following a J&J vaccination should contact their healthcare provider or seek medical attention immediately, the DOH said.