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Health Department Says Louisiana COVID-19 Vaccine Providers Can Resume Using Johnson & Johnson

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Phoebe Jones
/
WWNO
Vials of vaccine at a vaccination clinic at the Cypress Bayou Casino Hotel in St. Mary Parish. April 7, 2021.

Louisiana’s COVID-19 vaccine providers can begin offering the Johnson & Johnson shot again after a two-and-a-half-week pause, a press release from the health department announced.

The state suspended the use of the one-dose vaccine on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.

The FDA investigated a ‘rare and severe’ blood clot that six women who received the shot developed and found that the risk of contracting serious COVID-19 illness far outweighs the risk of developing the blood clot. The agency released its finding on Friday evening, saying that it is safe for providers to resume offering the shot.

In an interview with WWNO when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was paused, State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter expressed concern over how the break in using the drug would be communicated.

“We're concerned about the message that it sends. What this tells me is that the federal government,” he said, adding that pausing distribution shows that the federal agencies “take safety seriously.”

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