Will County vaccine clinics will continue to operate as scheduled

J&J vaccine not used at mass vaccination sites

After the CDC and FDA pressed the pause button on the use of the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine for COVID-19, health department officials in Will County said that while they’ll follow suit, the difference will be minimal.

The Will County Health Department announced on Tuesday they would follow federal and state health agencies recommendation to immediately pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The federal agencies made that recommendation Tuesday morning after reporting rare and severe blood clots in six people given the vaccine. The CDC and FDA are reviewing the data regarding those cases.

In a news release, the Illinois Department of Public Health advised that the move was “out of an abundance of caution.”

The CDC and FDA said such complications with the vaccine “appear to be extremely rare.”

In Will County, 99.5% of the 351,992 vaccines that have been distributed by the Will County Health Department have been the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine accounts for less than 1% of administered doses.

“All of the Will County Health Department’s public vaccine clinics have and will continue to use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” said Sue Olenek, Executive Director of the Will County Health Department. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was used on a limited basis over the past two months, and not distributed at our public clinics.”

To date, the Health Department has not received any news of recipients having adverse effects from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Will County.

“If anyone has concerns about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, they should contact their primary care provider directly,” Olenek said.

The limited number of people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will receive communication from the Will County Health Department informing them of the CDC’s recommendation, and directing them to follow CDC guidelines to contact their primary care physician with concerns.

In a news release, the CDC and FDA said Tuesday the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet Wednesday to “further review these cases and assess their potential significance.”

The blood clots were reported in six women aged 18-48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination, according to the CDC. More than 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses have been administered across the country thus far.

Those who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their health care provider, according to the CDC and FDA release.

The state also said in a news release that the “vast majority” of vaccines being administered in Illinois were developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech. Of the allocation for this week, only 17,000 doses were Johnson & Johnson. For next week, the state said it expects to receive 483,720 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 5,800 doses are expected to be Johnson & Johnson.

The County Health Department continues to vaccinate nearly 4,000 individuals per day, with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at their five clinics located in Wilmington, Joliet, and Monee.

All residents 16 and over are eligible to receive the vaccine.

At the Wilmington clinic, being held at St. Rose school, appointments for this week are booked for those receiving their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. But, as of Tuesday, the St. Rose site had several appointments open for the last week of April.

To book an appointment, those wishing to be vaccinated can go to the following website:


Registrants should scroll down to find available appointments.

~Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.