Johnson & Johnson vaccines to restart, but alternatives available for concerned residents

Local News

CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – Following both the FDA’s and CDC’s lifting of the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Friday, Central Valley counties are preparing to resume using the vaccine again.

The federal agencies recommended the pause on April 13 – after six cases of a rare blood clotting disorder, out of nearly 8 million vaccines.

The pause was lifted on Friday, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup on Saturday also concluded that the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should resume.

Those who receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will also get a warning about the risk of rare, but severe blood clots, especially for women under age 60.

As some hesitancy over the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is expected, local health departments are working to ensure people have the option of choosing which vaccine they want to get.

“Our goal is with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that it’s offered alongside the other vaccines so that if someone has come to the clinic and they have some hesitation that they can go ahead and move forward with either Pfizer or Moderna,” Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse said.

Bosse said they’ll be resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as soon as they get their allocation.

In Tulare County, the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will resume next week, according to the County Health and Human Services Agency.

A spokesperson with the Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency said the county is coordinating to ensure residents who want a vaccine have options available to them as to which vaccine to receive.

Fresno County Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra said the risk of developing a severe blood clot due to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is very small.

“The benefit is still so much greater than this small risk of having these blood clots that the FDA is recommending the use of Johnson & Johnson as one of the great vaccines that we have available,” Vohra said.

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