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Official Statement by City of Long Beach Health and Human Services Department regarding the reinstatement of the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen Vaccine

LB City Council Press Release

Following the recommendation of the California Department of Public Health and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup, the City of Long Beach has lifted the temporary pause on administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine since it has been determined to be safe and effective. Clinics in California may begin administering the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine immediately while ensuring they provide appropriate educational materials to inform patients of the vaccine’s low risk of associated health effects and other available vaccine options.

Administration of the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine will resume as one of the vaccine options at City-run vaccination sites beginning Saturday, May 1. One of the benefits of receiving the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine, beyond its effectiveness against COVID-19, is that it can be administered in a single dose, allowing people to be fully vaccinated quicker.

On April 13, the Long Beach Health Department complied with the CDC and FDA recommendation to pause administration of the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine out of an abundance of caution while the federal vaccine safety panel reviewed reports of a rare and severe type of blood clot, seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets. At the time the vaccine was recommended for reinstatement, there were a reported 15 cases out of 7.9 million doses administered.

The symptoms associated with this rare instance occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. Those who experience any of the following symptoms after receiving the vaccine should contact their healthcare provider: severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath. These symptoms are different from the mild, flu-like symptoms in the days immediately following being vaccinated.

The City encourages everyone to receive COVID-19 vaccine to help stop the spread and protect public health. Each of the three approved vaccines, including the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and the single-dose Janssen vaccine, have proven to be highly effective against severe COVID-19 illness and death. The City continues to offer many different opportunities for people to receive vaccine, including walk-up appointments at the Long Beach Convention Center vaccination site, expanded mobile community clinics and mobile vaccination vehicles for homebound residents.

More information is available at the California Department of Public Health’s Johnson & Johnson vaccine update page.