Florida resumes use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at federally-supported sites

MIAMI – Florida is resuming the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. The state’s division of emergency management announced on Saturday that federally-supported vaccination sites will resume the use of the vaccine on Sunday.

The agency announced on Twitter that each site will have the capacity to administer up to 3,000 doses per day. Nurses and pharmacists will be warning women to call their doctor if they are experiencing headaches, abdominal or leg pain, or trouble breathing.

On Friday, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled to lift the April 13 pause on its use after deciding that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the rare blood clot risk.

“One of the reasons for the pause was to get a handle on how many real cases there have been,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University.

After receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 15 women out of nearly 8 million people suffered complications with a blood clot and three of them died, CDC officials reported. Most of them were younger than 50 years old. The overall rate of the event was 1.9 cases per one million people.

“Based on the in-depth analysis, there is likely an association, but the risk is very low,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC director, said on Friday.

Leading scientists expect to see about 26 more cases of these rare blood clots out of 9.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine recipients over the next six months. They also believe the vaccine will prevent more than 1,400 deaths, and keep more than 2,200 COVID-19 patients from needing intensive care.

As of Saturday morning, 5,682,617 people completed the vaccine series in Florida, including 506,878 in Broward County and 749,125 in Miami-Dade County, according to the Florida Department of Health. Also, 2,761,179 received the first dose in Florida, including 272,394 in Broward and 403,688 in Miami-Dade.

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