Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. | Photo via

Both Lake and McHenry counties have paused the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to a rare and severe blood clot in six women in the United States.

The Lake County Health Department and McHenry County Department of Health both made the announcements Tuesday morning following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Illinois Department of Public Health also issued notice to all health departments in the state to pause the Johnson and Johnson shots.

The McHenry County Department of Health said that today’s clinic at Willow Creek Community Church in Crystal Lake has been canceled as a result of the pause. When the clinic resumes, it will administer Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation,” said MCDH Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson.

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“We know that there are many residents who wanted this vaccine in particular, and we will resume administering the J&J vaccine when and if it’s safe to do so,” Adamson said.

Six women in the United States, ages 18 to 48, developed a rare and severe type of blood clot six to 13 days after being vaccinated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

There are no known cases of that adverse effect in Lake or McHenry counties.

Anyone who received the J&J vaccine and developed severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks after their vaccination should contact their health care provider.

Moderna and Pfizer make up the vast majority of doses on hand in the State of Illinois.

The state’s allocation of the J&J vaccine for next week was only expected to be 5,800 doses, while Pfizer and Moderna are expected to be 477,000 doses.

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