Federal health officials who recommended shelving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday did so just under three weeks after the one-and-done shot went into Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s left arm.
That means the chief executive of the state’s pandemic response is still within the three-week window experts have spotlighted since six vaccinated women suffered severe complications from blood clots within that time frame.
But like the overwhelming majority of the other 6.8 million Americans who have gotten the J&J jab, J.B. hasn’t had any problems, according to his office.
“The Governor does not have concerns after receiving the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, nor has he experienced any health issues since receiving his shot,” Pritzker’s press secretary Jordan Abudayyeh said in an email.
Pritzker is among more than 290,000 Illinois residents who received the now-scrutinized vaccine before it was put on hold. None of the six severe reactions occurred in the state.
Wednesday marks three weeks since Pritzker’s J&J jab at a state-run mass vaccination site on the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. He said he felt “great” then, and hasn’t slowed down his public schedule since.
“I’m not asking you to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself,” Pritzker said at his vaccination. “I’m not a doctor, but I trust doctors, and thanks to the great work of our doctors, researchers, and public health scientists, these vaccines offer us all the fastest way back to normal life.”
J&J doses have accounted for only 4% of all shots administered in Illinois so far, and 8% of the total doses the state has received from the federal government. The Illinois Department of Public Health said the pause “will not have a large impact on state vaccination efforts.”