FEMA Sites Resume Giving J&J Vaccines
The Johnson & Johnson shots return after federal health officials decided the vaccine’s benefits outweigh a risk of rare blood clots discovered in 15 of nearly 8 million recipients.
Federally supported vaccination sites in Florida have resumed the use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, state emergency officials said.
The decision to resume beginning Sunday morning came after U.S. health officials said Friday evening they were lifting an 11-day pause on vaccinations using the J&J vaccine.
The four main sites in Tampa, Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando will have the capacity to administer up to 3,000 doses per day, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.
Site staff have received additional training, based off guidance issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration, state officials said.
Officials said the COVID-19 consent and screening form has new language to comply with the updated guidance. The FEMA sites will have the updated forms.
Individuals who received a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a FEMA site will still be able to receive their second dose at the same site, state officials said.
As of Saturday night, it was unknown when or if state, county, mobile or retail sites would again use Johnson & Johnson doses.
"At this time, the state has not determined which day the mobile vaccination events will resume administering the J&J vaccine," the Emergency Management division tweeted. "However, all events are prepared to continue administering either Pfizer or Moderna. The state will continue to post updates."
During the J&J pause, the federal government uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed an unusual of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the shot. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.
On Friday, a CDC advisory panel decided the vaccine’s benefits outweighed a rare risk. Officials decided to provide warnings to help younger women decide if they should use that shot or an alternative.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.