NY resumes J&J COVID vaccines ‘effective immediately’ after feds lift pause

Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine vial and syringe

FILE — In this March 31, 2021, file photo, a nurse fills a syringe with Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, in Uniondale, N.Y. U.S. health regulators on Tuesday, April 13, is recommending a “pause” in using the vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

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ALBANY, N.Y. — New York resumed the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at state-run sites “effective immediately” on Saturday, one day after federal experts lifted a temporary pause while it investigated cases of rare but potentially deadly blood clotting.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker announced the resumption in a joint statement.

“World-renowned public health experts from the federal government and our own independent state task force have reviewed the data and reaffirmed that the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can resume. The state of New York will resume administration of this vaccine at all of our state-run sites effective immediately,” Cuomo said. “The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID and allow everyone to resume normalcy, and we have three proven vaccines at our disposal. I urge every New Yorker to take whichever one is available to them first. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can put the long COVID nightmare behind us once and for all.”

U.S. health officials on Friday lifted an 11-day pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations following a recommendation by an expert panel.

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the benefits of the single-dose COVID-19 shot outweigh a rare risk of blood clots.

The CDC and Food and Drug Administration decided that J&J’s vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic — and that the small clot risk could be handled with warnings to help younger women decide if they should use that shot or an alternative.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city also resumed using the J&J vaccine on Saturday. That includes restarting an initiative to inoculate homebound residents in the five boroughs.

“The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back and New York City will immediately resume our innovative mobile, pop-up, and homebound vaccination programs with this shot,” de Blasio said in a statement. “I received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine along with Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi. We know firsthand that the vaccine is safe and effective, and now it’s easier than ever to get your shot. I encourage all New Yorkers to join the millions of your friends, family and neighbors who’ve been vaccinated. You can lead our city’s comeback.”

New Jersey health officials announced on Friday that their vaccine providers would also resume Johnson & Johnson shots.

European regulators earlier this week made a similar decision, deciding the clot risk was small enough to allow rollout.

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