What symptoms to watch for if you had Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – The decision to pause the administering of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is causing pharmacies and clinics in the Tri-State to change plans.

But what if you already got the Johnson & Johnson shot? What do you do?

“We’ve done about 200 of the Johnson and Johnson’s shots thus far, and that’s what we’ve been doing until today. Now, we’re just doing the Pfizer vaccine at this point,” said Dr. Jesica Mills of Owensboro Family Pharmacy and Wellness. Pharmacists there are among the many pharmacies and clinics now switching vaccines during the pause.

“I’m just, you know, one shot kind of person,” said Marcus Velez of Owensboro, who was supposed to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccine today. Instead, he got his first Pfizer dose. Velez wasn’t worried about Johnson & Johnson’s pause, or potential side effects.

“Even if it was a problem, there’s nothing that can’t be fixed or monitored if something did happen to it,” he said.

The CDC and FDA says the blood clots were found in six people, all women ages 18 to 48. The six were out of the nearly 7 million doses used around the country.

“What we’ve got are people calling in who received the vaccine that are calling this past week and saying, ‘What do I need to do?’ ‘What do I need to look out for,'” said Dr. Mills. She also says one blood clot symptom people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should watch for is severe headaches.

“What we’re seeing right now is it’s in the brain, so the blood clots where they form, it’s not allowing for the brain to be able to let the blood out, so that’s where the headache is,” she said.

Federal health official say symptoms include abdominal pain, leg pain, and shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. They add these adverse effects appear extremely rare. Dr. Mills says people should consider getting the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine during the pause.

Both the CDC and FDA say if you do experience any of those symptoms, contact your doctor or healthcare provider as soon as you can.

(This story was originally published on April 13, 2021)

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