Avula: Virginia will follow guidance to resume giving J&J vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

FILE – In this Thursday, April 8, 2021 file photo, the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine sits on a table at a pop up vaccinations site the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center, in the Staten Island borough of New York. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in administration of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s vaccine coordinator says the state will resume giving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after advisers determined its benefits outweigh the rare risks of developing blood clots.

Dr. Danny Avula released a statement Friday night about resuming the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

He said the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will follow the guidance released Wednesday by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and direct vaccine sites across the state that they are free to resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine immediately.

Administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause for 11 days as officials investigated 15 different cases in which vaccine recipients developed a rare kind of blood clot. All were women, and most were under 50.

One case under investigation was a Virginia woman who died after getting the one-dose vaccine.

Earlier Friday, CDC advisers recommended in a 10-4 vote to resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations, however, they said it must be made clear that there are risks.

“This extra scrutiny should instill confidence in the system that is in place to guarantee COVID-19 vaccine safety. As with any vaccine, we encourage individuals to educate themselves on any potential side effects and to weigh that against the possibility of hospitalization or death from COVID-19,” Avula said in the statement Friday.

Virginians can schedule an appointment to receive one of the three available free COVID-19 vaccines by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682).

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