What You Need to Know-Week of April 19th

The most important weekly updates for you to keep your community healthy




In this Update:

1. Urgent Updates: Transmission, Vaccine & Variant Information

2. All Things Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson Update

3. Quick Question: Will I test positive for COVID-19 after getting vaccinated?




1. Urgent Updates: Vaccine & Variant Information


Updated as of: 04-19-2021

Weekly case, death, and hospitalization counts: High and increasing number of cases

Compared to two weeks ago:

  • Cases per day within Arizona have increased by 27% 
  • Deaths have decreased by 18%
  • Hospitalizations have decreased by 7%

In the past week, there has been an average of:

  • 660 cases per day
  • 20.4 deaths per day

Remember: Cases usually increase prior to hospitalizations and deaths. As cases are increasing in Arizona, there will likely be a spike in hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks. Continue to take precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19!

For regularly updated case counts and additional COVID-19 information by county, visit the Arizona Department of Health’s data dashboard summary page. 

Vaccine Information:

  • 22% of Arizonans are fully vaccinated, 35% of Arizonans have received at least one dose (of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine). 
  • Over 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered so far in Arizona.

For updated vaccine information and data in Arizona, visit this link and click on the “Vaccine Administration” icon.

Use the resources below for more vaccination information:

It is still important to take safety precautions even after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Visit our previous update for more information.

Variant Information:

  • The newer COVID-19 variants are being found at increasing rates across the world, including here in Arizona. The B.1.1.7 variant is now the most common in Arizona. You can keep up with the most current data on Arizona variants here: AZ COVID-19 Sequencing Dashboard (tgen.org)B1.1.7 is more easily transmissible, which is why it is taking over as the dominant variant so rapidly. Recent evidence suggests that the earlier reports of increased severity may not hold true for B.1.1.7 but more research is needed. Importantly, the vaccines are effective for B.1.1.7. 
  • For information about variants of COVID-19, visit our previous update.

Please continue to stay home and take the necessary precautions (e.g., practicing hand hygiene, physical distancing, and wearing cloth face coverings) to prevent COVID-19 spread.



2. All Things Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson Update



Vaccination sites paused the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson (also called Janssen or J&J) vaccine to investigate 6 rare events of blood clotting out of the 6.8 million vaccine recipients. These blood clots occured in women between 18 and 58 years old, 6 to 13 days after receiving the one-dose vaccine. As of now, it appears that these events are extremely rare. Again, only 6 cases of blood clots have been reported out of the 6.8 million J&J vaccinations administered (as of April 12th). The women who reported these blood clots also all had low levels of blood platelets, cells that are essential for blood clotting. This suggests a rare, autoimmune response. More data is being collected.

Why were J&J vaccinations paused? 

This pause was done so healthcare providers could better understand how to provide appropriate treatment for cases with this rare, autoimmune response.

The detection of these 6 cases offers concrete evidence that vaccine surveillance is working!

What are blood clots and what is the risk associated with the J&J vaccine?

Blood clotting is usually a normal process for our body. Clotting responses help us stop bleeding after we have been cut. However, sometimes a small portion of blood clots or thickens within the body when there is no cut or injury. If untreated, these clots can lead to serious complications, such as a heart attack or stroke.

The rates of blood clotting and stroke from a COVID-19 infection are much higher than for the J&J vaccine. In other words, people are more likely to develop a clot or stroke due to a COVID-19 infection than receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. 

J&J vaccineNatural COVID-19 infection
What is the risk of developing a blood clot?As of now, the risk is 6 in 6.8 million. In other words, there is a 1 in 1,133,333 risk of developing a serious blood clot.COVID-19 cases, especially those with chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular conditions), appear to be at higher risk for blood clotting.

Evidence suggests that the risk of blood clotting increases by 25-49% for severe COVID-19 cases. 
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644431/
What is the risk of experiencing a stroke?Blood clots have the potential to lead to serious events like stroke or heart attack; however, no data currently indicates an increased risk of stroke for those who received the J&J vaccine.
The vaccine is definitely safer, and that is only ONE of the risks associated with getting COVID-19. 

COVID-19 particularly is associated with increased risk of stroke:
0.9% to 6.5% for noncritically ill hospitalized COVID-19 patients 
8% to 69% in COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit 
Source: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/ATVBAHA.120.314514
A recent study of over 8000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients indicated that 1.3% went on to have acute ischemic stroke.
If one assumes that about 4-7% of all SARS-CoV-2 infections require hospitalization (a relatively conservative estimate), that could mean that there could be between 520 to 910 cases of stroke per 1 million COVID-19 infections– a rate that is 565 to 985 times more likely to get stroke after a SARS-CoV-2 infection! 


Why might these blood clots be happening?

The problem is similar to what was found with another adenovirus vector vaccine, AstraZeneca. 

All women who reported clots had low levels of blood platelets, which are cells that are required for normal blood clotting. Therefore, the issue appears to be the result of a very rare immune response from the J&J vaccine that began to attack their platelets. 

 More research is needed to fully understand why some people have this response.

Have blood clots been reported for Pfizer or Moderna?

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, which use mRNA technology (different from the technology used in the J&J vaccine), have not been linked to occurences of blood clots in vaccine recipients.

Should I be worried if I received or am planning to receive the J&J vaccine?

The vaccines are still overwhelmingly safe and these reactions occur at much less frequency than what is observed with a natural infection of COVID-19.

Certain clinics and some healthcare providers are still offering the J&J vaccine.

What symptoms should you watch for?

If you received or are planning to receive the J&J vaccine watch for these symptoms for up to 3 weeks after your vaccination:

  • Severe headache
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Leg pain
  • Shortness of breath

If you experience these symptoms after receiving a J&J vaccine, contact your healthcare provider and report these adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

Do not worry about flu-like symptoms or mild headaches in the few days after vaccination, these are normal vaccine reactions!


3. Quick Question: Will I test positive for COVID-19 as a result of being vaccinated?


Many people are wondering whether getting a COVID-19 vaccine will cause them to test positive on a diagnostic test (e.g., rapid [antigen] or PCR test). The answer is no! 

  • The currently available COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the complete mRNA needed to cause an infection and the virus is unable to replicate itself using the components contained in the vaccines.
  • On the other hand, you will likely receive a positive result if you take an antibody test because these tests detect whether your body has developed antibodies to the virus, which the vaccines are able to provide. All this means is that you have some level of immunity to the virus. However, we still do not know exactly how long this immunity lasts. 

View our upcoming updates for more information on antibody testing!





The next update will cover how to register for and book a vaccination appointment. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to COVID-19 in Arizona, please complete next week’s AZCOVIDTXT survey that you will receive via text in about a week.

View Updates from Past Weeks:
Update from week of April 12th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 5th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of March 29th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of March 22nd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of March 15th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of March 8th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of March 1st (English | Spanish)
Update from week of February 22nd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of February 15th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of January 25th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of January 18th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of November 2nd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of October 26th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of October 19th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of October 5th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 28th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of September 21th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of August 31st (English | Spanish)
Update from week of August 24th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of August 3rd (English | Spanish)
Update from week of July 27th (English | Spanish)
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Update from week of May 11th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of May 4th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 27th (English | Spanish)
Update from week of April 20th (English | Spanish)

 


 

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