J&J is back on the menu

After 10 days, the pause on the J&J vaccine has been lifted. According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, there have been about 1.9 cases of severe blood clotting per million people who had received the J&J vaccine. It has been re-authorized for use in people aged 18 and older, now with an addendum to the label and fact sheet warning of the risk of blood clots: 

It’s important to note that at time of writing (April 24) only some states have already resumed its use. (These are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Indiana, and Virginia.) However, this is coinciding with a larger trend of states ordering fewer vaccine doses.

The J&J vaccine’s return is probably good news for the rest of the world as well. Combined with the AstraZeneca vaccine, the J&J vaccine was supposed to be one of the big players in the global fight against COVID-19. But the U.S. pause raised concerns for vaccine diplomacy and the global rollout—J&J had also paused its European distribution, South Africa announced they were putting J&J distribution on a temporary hiatus, and Australia said it wouldn’t purchase any J&J doses. Resuming distribution in the U.S., which can act as a bellwether for which vaccines are seen as desirable abroad, might allay concerns about safety abroad.

More vaccine coverage

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  • Omicron variant: What we know, what we don’t, and why not to panic (yet)
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    The CDC has not updated its breakthrough case data since September. A full two months ago.

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