An illustration shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson& Johnson on Nov. 17, 2020.

An illustration shows vials with COVID-19 vaccine stickers attached and syringes with the logo of U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on Nov. 17, 2020. Johnson & Johnson got the go-ahead to continue distributing vaccines after a precautionary pause recently. 

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) April 23 recommended that the United States should resume Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccinations.

Pending the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) formal acceptance of the decision, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will again offer J&J vaccine to Georgians aged 18 and older. However, there is no timeline yet for when administration will begin again.

ACIP advised that a warning should be added to the vaccine about the potential for very rare, but severe blood clots associated with the J&J vaccine. In particular, women under the age of 50 should be made of aware of the increased risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome and may choose to receive another vaccine.

The FDA and CDC previously recommended pausing J&J vaccinations pending a review of data involving six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot occurring in women aged 18-48 about a week after vaccination. Since then, nine additional confirmed cases of these rare blood clots were reported, and other potential cases are still under review.

At the time J&J vaccine administration was paused, more than 124,000 doses of J&J vaccine had been safely administered in Georgia. Approximately 213,000 doses are currently in inventory statewide.

Vaccination remains one of the best tools for stopping the spread of COVID-19, along with basic prevention measures – wearing a mask, distancing from others, avoiding large gatherings and washing hands frequently.

For information about COVID vaccines or to schedule a vaccination appointment visit dph.ga.gov/covid-vaccine.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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