Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials and syringe

After a brief pause, American health authorities have again permitted distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

U.S. health agencies said the single-dose coronavirus shot is a needed tool to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and Americans can decide for themselves whether the risks outweigh the benefits.

On April 12, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine so it could investigate reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients. On Friday, the CDC gave the go-ahead to keep giving it.

Is it safe? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is updating its guidance to warn people about blood clots that 15 women younger than 50 developed after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Three of them died, and seven remain hospitalized.

About 8 million Americans have received the shot. The FDA is also sending updated instructions to doctors on how to handle the rare complications, which require a different treatment than typical blood clots.

According to data collected and published by NPR, more than 92 million Americans are fully vaccinated—meaning the vast majority have completed the two-dose regime of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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