FDA lifts pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, county is ready to administer

Coronavirus. Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control

The Food and Drug Administration approved a restart on use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Friday after a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee recommendation. 

The FDA authorized resumption of the vaccine after concerns of rare blood clots temporarily halted administration last week, just hours after the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended administrating the vaccine with a warning label. 

During a press conference Friday, Paul Simon, chief science officer with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said the county is ready to continue administering the vaccine once authorized. 

“We will resume the Johnson & Johnson vaccine but with a warning label that will be provided indicating that there is this increased risk of severe adverse outcome and other blood clots that are very rare,” Simon said. “We are prepared to resume very quickly.” 

Simon added the county Public Health Department is in the process of finalizing educational material that will be provided to vaccine sites and primary care providers. 

A date on when the county is expected to receive a shipment of vaccines and when they will begin being administered wasn’t provided during the press briefing Friday, but Simon said the county is prepared to move forward when an allocation is delivered. 

Public Health also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Friday, adding a recommendation for anyone 16 years or older and those who recovered from COVID-19 to get vaccinated: 

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 489 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,230,786 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 27 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 23,759 

Hospitalizations countywide: 451; 24% of which are in the ICU.   

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of April 14: 6, with 1,205 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.      

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 7 all of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.      

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 27,555  

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of April 21: 298      

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of April 4: 39%      

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of April 4: 37.2%     

For more information on the county’s vaccination efforts, visit VaccinateLACounty.com. 

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