DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado will restart the Janssen vaccine, also known as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after an advisory committee recommended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to re-approve it for use on the label Warning of the potential for blood clots. Although the clots are rare among the more than seven million doses of the Janssen vaccine administered, it affected 15 women, 13 of whom were younger than 50 years old.
“We are excited to have this highly potent single-dose vaccine back as an option for Coloradans,” said Dr. Eric France, CDPHE’s Chief Medical Officer. “We appreciate the caution the CDC and FDA have taken in evaluating the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and stand ready to resume distribution as soon as possible,” said Dr. Eric France of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in a statement.
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Dr. Connie Price, Chief Medical Officer of Denver Health Medical Center, commented, “It is an incredibly rare occurrence and probably more good for the population as the verdict has been made, and in that regard it comes as no surprise.”
Still to be resolved, however, is why it happened.
“It could be a hormonal interaction. There could be a variety of things causing this worrying side effect, but I don’t think we have enough numbers to be sure what it is, ”Price said.
The pulling of the J&J vaccine has impacted vaccination efforts in Colorado.
“We had to cancel some clinics, yes, and we canceled some of our contacts. We planned the J&J for some of our mobile vans, ”remarked Price.
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“It hasn’t affected us significantly as we have easy access to Pfizer and Moderna,” said Dr. Mark Wallace from Sunrise Community Health in an email. “The places that J&J pauses slow us down and require us to change our strategy. It is especially difficult for individuals (many seniors) and other population groups to come back for a second dose (e.g. people who are homeless, especially in camps). Persons in inpatient treatment programs who may be discharged before a second dose, incarcerated persons, etc.) “
They have postponed some of their contact with these populations, but plan to take action again when the J&J becomes available again.
Many vaccine providers, including the Denver Health Medical Center, gave people a choice of which vaccines to receive. It will probably continue like this.
“We will continue to go out with the vaccines that are available and make sure people have a choice no matter who they are or where they live,” Price said.
Would she recommend it to women?
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“I would like to recommend it to make sure people know the data associated with the vaccine and that people know that there are alternatives if they feel uncomfortable at all,” she said.