ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – New York state will resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement Saturday, noting that federal public health experts and the state’s own independent task force have reviewed data regarding the J&J vaccine, and reaffirmed that it can be used again.
“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,” Cuomo said.
A statement from New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, also released on Saturday, noted that on Friday evening, following a thorough safety review, “The CDC and FDA lifted the recommended pause on the COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said that the United States can resume the use of the vaccine for adults, 18 years of age and older. Following discussions with New York State’s Clinical Advisory Task Force and Governor Cuomo, I recommend that New York State accept the federal recommendations and resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations effective immediately.”
Zucker added,”The data has shown the vaccine’s known benefits far outweigh the potential and extremely rare risks, but we urge anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines to speak with their healthcare provider.”
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 government uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.
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.
This story includes reporting by the Associated Press.