US resumes use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 11-day pause

By Lucía Leal

Washington, Apr 24 (EFE).-The United States Saturday resumed the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, 11 days after suspending it for several cases of blood-clotting among women.

Around 20 states announced plans to start administering the one-shot vaccine, a day after the US Food and Drug Administration gave a green light.

Authorities in some states, such as Maryland, Massachusetts, and Maine, began administering the vaccine produced by Janssen, the Belgian subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, immediately after the FDA announcement.

“The state of New York will resume administration of this vaccine at all of our state-run sites effective immediately,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

Other states that resumed vaccination or announced plans to do so shortly include Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Vermont authorities pushed the resumption of the vaccine to next week.

Indiana has reopened its iconic vaccination center, situated at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which only offers the Janssen formula.

California has not announced the immediate resumption of the single-dose vaccine. But its most populous county, which includes the city of Los Angeles, told its vaccination centers that they could resume with the doses.

The US has administered just 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, compared to over 118 million doses of Pfizer and 98 million Moderna shots since the vaccination drive began in December.

The states and cities of the country have at least 9 million more doses of the J&J vaccine, which they can begin administering now, according to data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The available data shows that the known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older,” the FDA said in a statement.

In many areas in the US, it is possible to choose which type of vaccine one wants while fixing an appointment, and authorities have said that those opting for J&J would receive a warning on paper over the possible risks.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has suggested that women less than 50 should receive warnings of the potential risk of thrombosis (blood-clotting) by the vaccine.

The US paused the use of the J&J vaccine on Apr.13 after six cases of cerebral thrombosis in women below 48 who had received the vaccine, with one of them dying as a result.

By Friday, the CDC documented a total of 15 cases of blood-clotting in women vaccinated with J&J, with three deaths, with most of the patients aged in their 30s.

Both the J&J and AstraZeneca, which also caused thrombosis in rare cases in Europe, have been developed by modifying an adenovirus, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna, produced using messenger RNA technology.

The US has authorized the emergency use of Pfizer, Moderna, and J$J formulas so far, while AstraZeneca is yet to apply for a license in the country. EFE


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