BATON ROUGE, La. (KSLA) - The Louisiana Department of Health will resume using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following a decision late Friday, April 23 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
After thorough safety review, the FDA and CDC have determined that the recommended temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. should be lifted and use of the vaccine should resume.
All providers are able to resume administering the vaccine immediately.
The pause was recommended after reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals following administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. During the pause, medical and scientific teams at the FDA and CDC examined available data to assess the risk of thrombosis involving the cerebral venous sinuses, or CVST (large blood vessels in the brain), and other sites in the body (including but not limited to the large blood vessels of the abdomen and the veins of the legs) along with thrombocytopenia, or low blood platelet counts.
The two agencies have determined the following:
- Use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine should be resumed in the United States.
- The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
- The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.
- At this time, the available data suggest that the chance of TTS occurring is very low, but the FDA and CDC will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.
More than 1.1 million Louisianans have already completed their vaccinations against COVID-19 with around 85,000 of those being Johnson & Johnson vaccines. No cases of the rare blood clot have been reported in the state.
“The FDA had recommended the pause out of an overabundance of caution due to an extremely rare condition reported in a small number of individuals nationwide. Safety is all of our top priority, and we appreciate the thorough review,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Louisiana’s State Health Officer. “We have the upmost confidence in the safety and monitoring process and commitment to transparency.”
Anyone wanting information on where to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, needing help making an appointment or needing questions ansered can contact the COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-855-453-0774. Residents can call from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.