NJ Top News 4/26 – NJ to Resume Use of J&J Vaccine Despite Clotting Concerns
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will now come with a warning.
New Jersey is expected to resume using the Johnson and Johnson one-shot COVID-19 vaccine this week after federal officials lifted the pause on its use. The pause allowed federal health officials to look into a possible link between the J&J shot and a rare, but serious, blood clot disorder.
On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration lifted the pause. FDA Acting Administrator Janet Woodcock said the agency had "full confidence that this vaccine's known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks."
Anyone receiving the J&J vaccine will be given an information sheet warning of the risk of blood clots in women under the age of 50.
The CDC has cleared states to begin using their supplies of the J&J Janssen-brand vaccine immediately. While it is expected to be added back into the New Jersey supply this week, it is unclear where it will be available.
CVS Pharmacies in New Jersey will begin scheduling appointments for the J&J vaccine this week. Other pharmacy chains with a J&J supply are expected to do the same. Many local governments had been using the J&J vaccine to inoculate homebound residents because it is more easily stored and transported.
While it is likely many will be wary of the J&J vaccine, or the COVID vaccines in general, White House Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci says it shouldn't.
Appearing on ABC News on Sunday, Fauci sought to assure Americans the vaccine was safe. He insisted the pause should assure you of the CDC and FDA commitment to safety. This comes as the CDC reports a growing number of Americans who received their first dose of the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine are skipping their second dose.
The vaccination rate in New Jersey continues to be among the highest in the nation. As of Sunday, the state reported 6,581,943 doses had been administered. 2.77 million residents are considered fully vaccinated and 4 million are awaiting their second doses.
State health officials have said 9 in 10 residents are returning for their second doses, which are automatically scheduled after the first dose. New Jersey's high vaccination rate is one of the reasons Murphy is expected to announce a further relaxation of COVID restrictions today.
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