Georgia Department of Public Health to resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Georgia Department of Public Health to resume use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after CDC gives recommendation

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Public Health has announced that it will resume use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, according to a release from DPH. The announcement came as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that the United States should resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The federal agencies did advise “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,” according to an updated release from DPH. Women under the age of 50 should also be advised about the increased risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome from receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and these women may opt to receive another COVID-19 vaccine.

The DPH will administer Johnson & Johnson vaccines to Georgians 18 years and older, according to the updated release. The Department has not yet announced when Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available.

The Coastal Health District used the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines during the pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The District estimates that they have a couple thousand doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in storage.

Dr. Lawton Davis, Director of the Coastal Health District says the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has logistical advantages over the other two authorized vaccines because it only requires one dose. Dr. Davis thinks it will take a lot of public education to build trust in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“I think it probably will affect the overall uptake. I think people that really read data and look at the science will understand that it’s very rare and that overall it’s a safe vaccine and it does a really good job of preventing severe illness and death which is what we want vaccines to do. Hopefully given a little time and again people that digest the actual data and the science behind it will understand that it’s a safe vaccine,” he said.

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