(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – Santa Barbara County Public Health Department will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine locally, at the direction of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). A thorough safety review was conducted by various health agencies including the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, an entity unique to California and other west coast states, has also concluded that the J&J vaccine is safe and effective and resuming use of the vaccine is recommended.
Earlier this month, the CDC and FDA recommended a temporary pause in use of the J&J vaccine and Santa Barbara County took part in this pause. Of the nearly 8 million doses administered of the J&J vaccine nationally, there have been about 12 cases reported of a rare and severe type of blood clot. No cases of this rare blood clot have been reported in someone who has received the J&J vaccine in Santa Barbara County. During the pause, available data was examined and extensive outreach was made to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for adverse events and could properly manage and recognize these events. Clinicians now have guidance on administration of a unique treatment required 6 to 13 days after vaccination in people experiencing symptoms of adverse reaction to the vaccine. These agencies determined the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19, the vaccine known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. Vaccine safety monitoring will continue and any new information will be thoroughly reviewed.
“We are highly encouraged that federal and state health officials have undergone their reviews and have drawn similar conclusions in the safety and efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We acknowledge that our community may still have reservations but please know that Public Health remains committed to providing transparency about the vaccines being administered and also providing different options countywide for vaccination,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, County Public Health Director. “Safety is a top priority in this effort and this pause was an example of the vaccination safety review system working as intended. These pauses are intended to provide transparency and information to our community.”
The J&J vaccine will be available in select efforts this week through the Public Health’s Mobile Vaccine Program. Participants will be given the option to select a different vaccine if they would like. Other vaccine opportunities with the J&J vaccine may also become available beginning as early as this week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines available locally, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/ or call 2-1-1 and select option 4. The County Call Center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2-1-1 Call Center: Dial 211 or outside the area, call (800) 400-1572
Community Wellness Team Information and Referral Line: (805) 364-2750