Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

With OK from experts, some U.S. states resume use of J&J vaccine

Among Indiana, other states ordering or recommending a resumption include New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia

With a green light from federal health officials, many states resumed use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine on Saturday. Among the venues where it was being deployed: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Among the other states ordering or recommending a resumption, along with Indiana, were Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

Those moves came swiftly after U.S. health officials said Friday evening that they were lifting an 11-day pause on vaccinations using the J&J vaccine. During the pause, scientific advisers decided the vaccine’s benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot.

“The state of New York will resume administration of this vaccine at all of our state-run sites effective immediately,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Saturday morning.

“The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID and allow everyone to resume normalcy, and we have three proven vaccines at our disposal,” Cuomo said, urging New York residents to take whichever one is available to them first.

“The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can put the long COVID nightmare behind us once and for all,” he said.

The Indiana Department of Health announced the resumption of a free COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic Saturday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, offering the J&J vaccine to anyone 18 or older. The clinic will be operating at least through April 30, when there will be a family vaccination day at which 16- and 17-year-olds also can be vaccinated.

“I can’t think of a better way to welcome the month of May in Indiana than getting your vaccine this week at the Yard of Bricks,” said Dr. Chris Weaver, chief clinical officer for Indiana University Health, which is partnering with the state in running the speedway clinic.

By early afternoon, 1,415 doses had been administered at the speedway, the Indiana Health Department said.

Virginia health officials also told providers to immediately resume their use of the J&J vaccine.

“This extra scrutiny should instill confidence in the system that is in place to guarantee COVID-19 vaccine safety,” said Dr. Danny Avula, the state’s vaccine coordinator. “As with any vaccine, we encourage individuals to educate themselves on any potential side effects and to weigh that against the possibility of hospitalization or death from COVID-19.”

Avula received the J&J vaccine himself on April 1.

Missouri officials made a similar announcement, saying providers with J&J vaccine in stock can immediately begin administering it and that shipments from the federal government will resume next week.

Just over 105,000 doses of J&J had been administered in Missouri before the pause.

In Michigan, where local health departments have a key role in vaccination decision-making, the state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, recommended resuming use of the J&J vaccine.

In Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous county, public health officials told vaccine providers they could resume administering J&J doses on Saturday, as long as they provided an updated fact sheet to recipients.

Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county’s Department of Public Health, said the county has been working on developing additional materials to explain the clotting issue that prompted the pause.

Those will “include what we think is really important information about what to look for — the signs and symptoms if you were to have this, again, very rare reaction,” he said. “And we are going to underscore that this is a very rare reaction.”

The federal government uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.

But ultimately, federal health officials decided that J&J’s one-and-done vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic — and that the small clot risk could be handled with warnings to help younger women decide if they should use that shot or an alternative.

strong>Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

An example of the kinds of invasive plants that can be found in Golden. (Tesia Hackett photo)
Golden annual weedpull back for 14th year

Invasive plants can be harmful to local ecosystems, Wildsight says

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

BC CDC map showing the geographic distribution of cases in the province. (BC CDC photo)
No new cases of COVID-19 in Golden

The last time the BC CDC reported a new case in the area was the week of May 23-29

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A heart of ribbons is seen on the fence of Highroad Academy along Chilliwack Central Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Orange Heart Memorial campaign launches in Vernon on National Indigenous Peoples Day

North Okanagan Friendship Center raising funds for bench, mural memorializing 215 discovered in Kamloops

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

Most Read