Statement from CDPH on the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Following Updated CDC Guidance

April 23, 2021

COVID-19 Joint Information Center

The Chicago Department of Public Health will resume distribution of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine immediately following updated guidance today from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Following a thorough safety review, the U.S. CDC and FDA have determined that the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine in the U.S. should resume. The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.

Vaccine safety is always our top priority and we are confident in the safety and efficacy of the J&J vaccine. This pause and safety review shows our vaccine safety monitoring system is working. Millions of people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with no serious side effects and serious reactions are extremely rare.

The J&J vaccine is an important tool in the City’s vaccination strategy. Starting April 24, the J&J vaccine will be offered at the City’s vaccination site at Kennedy King College. Next week, operations at Chicago Federation of Labor vaccination site, Chicago State University’s drive through site, Protect Chicago Homebound, and City’s Vaccination Bus program will all resume operations with J&J.     

The CDC and FDA paused use of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine on April 13 out of an abundance of caution, in order to investigate 6 cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot that occurred in individuals receiving the vaccine. After data review during the pause, a total of 15 cases of severe blood clot syndromes were confirmed out of nearly 8 million administered doses of J&J in the U.S.