Several states have lifted the pause on the COVID-19 vaccine. Indiana, Virginia, Missouri, Michigan and New York , have resumed distributing doses of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine on Saturday.
Health officials recommended redistribution of the controversial vaccine, which has been reported as being linked to blood clots. Fifteen cases out of approximately 8 million have been identified to have come down with blood clots after receiving the vaccine, and three are reported to have died.
According to health officials, the condition involves several forms of clots in various locations, including the brain, abdomen, and legs, and low levels of platelets that aid healing in wounds. The condition is known as thrombocytopenia syndrome.
The FDA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have determined that the benefits of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine outweigh its risks.
“Both agencies have full confidence that this vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh it’s known and potential risks in individuals 18 and older,” says the FDA’s acting commissioner, Janet Woodcock.
“We are no longer recommending a pause to the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine,” said the CDCP’s director Rochelle Walenksy during Friday’s virtual panel. “I support the ACIP’s recommendation that the Johnson and Johnson COVID -19 vaccine be used for persons 18 years of age or older in the United States population under the FDA emergency use authorization, and I have signed this recommendation.”
According to Dr. Henry Bernstein, a panel member and a pediatrician at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York, the pause was justified because of the safety concern, but it’s time to continue distribution of the vaccine.
“I hope the pause draws the public’s attention to the fact that the vaccine safety surveillance system works, that the vaccine’s incredibly safe and effective, and it’s immensely important for everyone to be vaccinated so we can put this pandemic behind us,” said Dr. Bernstein.
Sources: CNN, USA Today.