U.S. again allows Johnson & Johnson vaccine distribution

Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials and syringe
Johnson & Johnson vaccine vials and syringe
Vovidzha via Shutterstock

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.

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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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