North Carolina to resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine


FILE – In this March 10, 2021, file photo, a staff member of Ochsner Health carries a tray filled with syringes containing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as people come into the Castine Center in Pelican Park to be vaccinated in Mandeville, La. The stark vaccine access gap is prompting increased calls across the world for the U.S. to start shipping vaccine supplies to poorer countries. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina health officials are recommending that healthcare providers in the state resume use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following a safety review by federal agencies.

Earlier this month, a pause was placed on the vaccine after reports of six cases of a rare type of blood clot in people who received the one-dose vaccine. During the pause, nine additional cases were identified, resulting in 15 total cases among more than eight million doses given in the U.S All of the cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 59.

During the pause, medical and scientific teams at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration examined available data to assess the risk of that type of reaction. The FDA said it determined that the data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in adults.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release that it is recommending that providers resume administration of the vaccine. More than 250,000 people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in North Carolina as of April 13.

Currently, there are approximately 132,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available in North Carolina. The state expects to be able to order new shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week.

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