State recommends continuing to use J&J vaccine

(TDH press release) After an extensive analysis of the risks and benefits of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted today to recommend to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that jurisdictions may resume their administration of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine without restrictions.

The recommendation from the ACIP is unchanged from the original recommendation provided on February 27, 2021: “The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for persons 18 years of age and older in the U.S. population under FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization.”

The committee made the determination after reviewing cases of rare but serious blood clots occurring in some individuals who received the vaccine. To date, 15 cases have been reported with the majority occurring in women ages 18-49 years. The risk of developing the condition is approximately 7 in 1 million vaccine doses for women in that age group. For women ages 50 years and older and for men, the risk is approximately 1 in 1 million vaccines doses.

The Tennessee Department of Health is taking necessary steps to inform all approved COVID-19 vaccine providers across the state of the information released by ACIP so that they may resume the administration of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine as soon as possible. While the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine is in short supply, most vaccine providers in Tennessee continue to have abundant supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“The independent review process conducted by ACIP further shows the amount of scrutiny and review that goes into ensuring the safety of all vaccines used in this country, including those that protect against COVID-19,” said Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey, MD, MBA, FAAP. “The CDC and FDA took a necessary pause in the administration of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the ACIP has done its diligence to confidently recommend that the country resume its use of the vaccine. We’re excited to get this third vaccine option back into use in Tennessee.”

Women between the ages of 18 and 49 years should weigh the risk of the vaccine with its benefits when deciding to receive the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine versus the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, which have not been associated with this rare blood clotting disorder.

Individuals seeking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can visit www.covid19.tn.gov, or www.vaccinefinder.org to schedule an appointment with a local vaccine provider.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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