California to Resume Johnson & Johnson Vaccinations After Pause Lifted

The announcement comes a day after the CDC lifted the pause when a rare blood clotting issue was discovered

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office announced Saturday that the state will resume administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine shots.

The news comes a day following the CDC lifted the pause after a rare blood clotting issue was discovered.

“After additional review, experts have concluded the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective. California will immediately begin administering it again,” Newsom’s office said in a tweet.

The Western States Scientific Review Workgroup, which backed action by the federal government were the experts that made the decision to resume the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations.

Stanford University Epidemiologist Dr. Yvonne Maldonado is part of that review group behind the decision.

"We thought that the benefits of these vaccines far outweighed the risks,” she said.

The 12-day pause has caused some hesitation among people.

San Francisco resident Carlo Cuneta just got his first Pfizer dose if he was offered Johnson and Johnson.

"Uh, no. I wouldn't have got the Johnson and Johnson. Too Risky. Especially if there's other alternatives,” he said.

But others didn’t have any worries with the Johnson & Johnson Vaccine.

As far as the risk of blood clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Stanford doctor Jorge Caballero crunched some numbers.

"Our chance of getting struck by lightning is one in 500-thousand. So, this is half as rare as getting struck by lightning on any given year,” he said.

Still, there is some risk and during the 12 day pause experts figured out some ways to manage those risks.

"Given that the risk is primarily for women under 50, if they feel that the risk of seven in a million is too high, then they can choose to receive another vaccine,” said Maldonado.

Right now, there is enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine available in the Bay Area to provide an alternative.

What's more, the CDC and the Western States Review Workgroup came up with an effective treatment doctors can exercise. If a patient does have a clotting reaction to the Johnson & Johnson shot.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County public health officials went ahead with telling vaccine providers they could resume administering Johnson & Johnson doses on Saturday, if they give out an updated fact sheet about the vaccine to recipients.

Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county’s Department of Public Health, said the county has been working on developing additional materials to explain the rare blood clotting issue that prompted the J&J vaccine pause on April 13.

Those will “include what we think is really important information about what to look for--the signs and symptoms if you were to have this, again, very rare reaction,” he said. “And we are going to underscore that this is a very rare reaction.”

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