The Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) has canceled the College Student Vaccination Day after a national pause in administration of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccination day was meant to allow Ithaca College, Cornell University and Tompkins Cortland Community College students to receive the J&J vaccine April 15 at the Shops at Ithaca Mall. However, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Department of Health called for a pause in distribution of the J&J vaccine, the day has been canceled. TCHD will continue to administer the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines at local clinics, as will state-run sites.
An April 13 announcement from TCHD stated that students will receive further communication from their respective institutions.
This recommended pause in distribution of the J&J vaccine is the result of reports of rare, but dangerous, blood clots six to 13 days after administration of the vaccine. The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will be investigating these reports.
TCHD has distributed 130 doses of the J&J vaccine to members of the Tompkins County community, the announcement stated.
The CDC has stated that adverse reactions related to the J&J vaccine appear to be rare and that those who have received it that develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after the vaccine should contact their health care providers.
“Safety of the vaccine is a top priority on the local, state, and national level,” Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County public health director said in the statement. “This pause is out of an abundance of caution as the CDC studies this issue further. … These adverse reactions are extremely rare, and at this time there is not an immediate concern regarding our local population who received Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses. Everyone, regardless of the vaccine they received, should monitor their health.”