Cochise County Resumes Use of Janssen Vaccine, While Recommending Additional Consent

Cochise Health & Social Services Recommends Written Consent for Women Under 50

 

BISBEE, Ariz. (April 26, 2021) – Today, Cochise Health and Social Services (CHSS) resumes county-wide use of the Janssen vaccine, commonly known as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decision comes days after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) vote, that reassures the vaccine’s thorough safety review and recommends resuming administration of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Soon after the announcement, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) followed suit, advising Arizona providers to resume the use of the once-dose vaccine.

After careful consideration and internal discussions among medical directors and health providers, Cochise Health and Social Services will resume the administration of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, with the addition of a required written consent from women under the age of 50. The consent documents that the patient is aware of the rare, but increased risk associated with the Janssen vaccine and that there are other COVID-19 vaccine options available to them, for which the risks have not been seen.

“The safety and trust of our community is a primary concern for Cochise Health and Social Services,” says Erik McLaughlin MD, MPH, Medical Director of Cochise Health and Social Services. “At this time, we feel the Janssen vaccine is safe for use. It’s important to know that the vaccines available, are tools to help keep our community members safe from COVID-19, and we want to select the right tool for the right patient. This specific vaccine is best used in the correct patient population. Women ages 18 to 50 are able to receive the Janssen vaccine, but we want these patients, our wives, daughters and sisters to be aware of all their options and risks associated with it.”

The additional step of collecting written consent is not a requirement by any of the federal or state health agencies but is strongly recommended by CHSS and will be implemented at all county-managed point of dispensing (POD) vaccination events. Other vaccine providers within the county are not required to follow the additional consent, however CHSS highly encourages them to do so. 

As of Friday, the CDC and FDA confirmed 15 total cases of thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). All cases reported occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 59, with a median age of 37 years. Reports indicated symptom onset between 6 and 15 days after vaccination.

To-date, Cochise County has administered 4,305 doses of Janssen within the county, which makes up roughly 5 percent of total doses administered.

Revised COVID-19 Vaccine Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) fact sheets have been distributed to all county health providers and will also be available to all patients, prior to vaccine administration.

Various county vaccination sites are now accepting walk-in appointments. To learn more about where to receive a COVID-19 vaccine within Cochise County, visit https://www.cochisecovid.com/ and stay tuned on the county Facebook page.

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