J&J vaccine to resume distribution in SC, 9 additional cases of rare blood clot syndrome reported

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is officially back on the market after an 11 day “pause.” Despite concerns surrounding rare health complications from the shot, doctors are assuring it’s safety.

“This is what happens when we try to get something to the public as quickly as possible. Sometimes it comes out too quickly and we need to scale it back,” says Dr. Ken Perry from Trident Healthcare.

This hiatus was brought on by 6 out of 6.8 million total doses who developed a rare and serious blood clot condition called Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS).

All of the cases were women between the ages of 18 and 59. One woman died from this syndrome.

After 11 days of extensive research, 9 more cases of TTS have been reported, bringing the total number to 15.

Dr. Perry says this condition is extremely concerning but still extremely rare.

“I really want people to understand that this is the beginning of something, this is not the end of the process. And we have to trust in that sort of step forward step back process that we have going on,” he says.

Both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agree that the J&J shot is safe and effective.

 “The American public should feel reassured about the safety systems and protocols that we have in place around the Covid-19 vaccines. Our systems helped to identify incredibly rare events,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) released a statement on Friday calling for the J&J vaccine distribution to resume in the state.

Today, the CDC and FDA issued a joint statement lifting the pause on the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine after determining the known and potential benefits of the vaccine outweigh the known and potential risks of the vaccine. DHEC has issued statewide notification this evening to vaccine providers that any provider with Janssen inventory, which they have been properly storing since the federal pause, is now able to administer the single-shot vaccine to the public.  Providers have been instructed to utilize the updated FDA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers and the FDA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers.

Statement from SCDHEC

Nation and state health leaders are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated regardless of what shot is available.

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