1. This week’s Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine clinics switching to Pfizer vaccine

    April 13, 2021

    To All Members of the University Community:

    The University of Michigan, in collaboration with our vaccination partners, is switching this week’s Ann Arbor clinics at the Michigan Athletics Indoor Training Center and Meijer that were administering the Johnson and Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine instead.

    Additionally, the Michigan Medicine J&J clinics in Ann Arbor (April 19 and 20), Dearborn (this Friday) and Flint (this Wednesday and Thursday) have been canceled. Michigan Medicine is working to reschedule these as supplies allow. The health departments in Genesee County and Wayne County also have information about vaccination opportunities.

    This action follows a recommendation from the federal government to pause administration of the J&J vaccine due to an extremely rare but serious side effect that has been reported in six persons out of the more than 6 million people who have been vaccinated. Michigan Medicine, Washtenaw County and our partners will continue to administer the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. We encourage everyone to continue to seek these two vaccines from the sources we’ve posted.

    If you’ve signed up for the clinics at the Michigan Athletics Indoor Training Center (using Kroger vaccine supply) or Meijer, those clinics are switching to the Pfizer vaccine and will still take place.

    If you’ve chosen an appointment at any vaccination clinic because of the one-dose J&J vaccine, please note that clinics will now be administering only the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which require a second shot three or four weeks later. Getting a first dose this week would put your second dose — depending on which vaccine — in early-to-mid May, so please plan accordingly based on your availability.

    Safety remains our top priority. We’re taking this action to pause the J&J vaccine following a recommendation based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration. They recommended the pause out of an abundance of caution as they review data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women between the ages of 18 and 48 after receiving the J&J vaccine. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered nationwide as of April 12. If you’ve already received the single dose J&J vaccine, please monitor yourself for severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination, and contact your health care provider should these symptoms develop.

    We know you will have many questions about the J&J pause, and we’ll post information as it becomes available on our Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page. What we know now is that the federal government will review the six cases and assess their potential significance, and that the safety monitoring process is working as it should. When harms are reported, even exceptionally rare events, further investigation is warranted. The CDC and FDA report that the adverse reactions to the J&J vaccine appear to be extremely rare.

    The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered to greater than 100 million people in the U.S. without similar side effects or other major concerns. We continue to strongly encourage vaccination to help protect everyone from COVID-19.

    We expect that information will be coming in quickly, so please continue to check the Campus Maize and Blueprint vaccine page.

    Sincerely,

    Mark. S. Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D.
    President

    Robert D. Ernst, M.D. 
    Associate Vice President of Student Life for Health and Wellness
    Executive Director of University Health Service

    Preeti Malani, M.D.
    Chief Health Officer
    Professor of Medicine