Texas resuming Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration
TEXAS — A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee on Friday recommended the pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administration be lifted, and Texas is doing just that.
In a news release Saturday, the Texas Department of State Health Services said it has notified providers that use of the vaccine should immediately resume.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an important tool in our fight against COVID-19, and the scientific review over the last 11 days has affirmed its safety and effectiveness,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “We know some Texans prefer the simplicity of a single-dose vaccine, and the ease of storing and handling this vaccine gives providers more flexibility. Resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will prevent hospitalizations and save lives in Texas.”
Despite the green light, the CDC is recommending the vaccine come with a warning label for women under age 50 informing them that a handful of people have developed blood clots after being injected.
The CDC estimates that use of the J&J vaccine will prevent more than 2,200 intensive care admissions and roughly 1,400 deaths over the next six months in the United States.
Administration of the vaccine was paused on April 13 after six cases emerged in which women who had received it developed blood clots in combination with low blood platelet counts. A total of 15 such cases have been identified. More than 7 million people have received the vaccine. Most of the cases involved women between the ages of 18 and 49 who experienced symptoms one to two weeks after vaccination.
Texas next week is set to receive another 1.7 million total vaccine doses. Vaccines are now readily available in the state and despite the fact that demand has leveled off, health care professionals strongly urge Texans to get inoculated.