April 13, 2021

APRIL 27, 2021 UPDATE: Federal and state health officials have recommended continuing the use of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine after a 10-day pause so health officials could better understand the risk of a rare type of blood clot associated with the J&J vaccine. Read more from the CDC>>


Multnomah County has paused its use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its community clinics, effective immediately, following an announcement by federal health authorities that a rare and severe type of blood clot was reported in six individuals of the 6.8 million people who had received the vaccine.

Multnomah County health officials are evaluating guidance from state and federal health authorities to learn more about the risks associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For now Multnomah County Health Centers are offering patients the Moderna vaccine. Multnomah County Public Health will use either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for scheduled community-based vaccination clinics.

Multnomah County’s Public Health Division and the Multnomah County Health Center have received about 10,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have administered the vaccine to about 830 people through clinics for unhoused residents and primary care patients. The most recent clinic was held April 1.

Health staff, in partnership with the Joint Office of Homeless Services, are working to reach out to vaccinated individuals in the unlikely event that a someone who received the vaccine might be at risk. 

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration said in a Tuesday morning call they acted  “out of an abundance of caution” after receiving six reports of a rare blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in female patients 6 to 13 days following vaccination. Those reports were entered into a federal system that tracks adverse events. The six reports were identified out of approximately 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered. 

People who have received the vaccine, and who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, should see a health care provider right away and let them know you have received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Anyone who thinks they have a blood clot should go to the emergency department.

Providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. In the unlikely event that a local health care provider encounters someone with this type of blood clot, the usual treatment (a drug called heparin) is not recommended.