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Sedgwick County to consider CDC guidance before resuming J&J vaccine

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update Friday night, April 23, 2021: The CDC and FDA ended the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, clearing the way for states to continue administering the single-dose vaccine immediately.

As of Friday night, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) hasn’t released guidance, so it’s unclear if Sedgwick County will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week. Sedgwick County health officials will meet Monday, April 26, to discuss next steps.

“...Now we know that there are still people interested in Johnson & Johnson,” Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said. “We have heard that we’re going to bring it back, so we will get more vaccinated.”

The CDC and the FDA believe the benefit outweighs the risk with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, but public health officials are anticipating some vaccine hesitancy.

“We will be transparent with what we know,” Byrne said. “And I imagine if someone was hesitant, if they weren’t quite sure about getting a vaccine and then decided to get Johnson & Johnson, that hearing it being paused could give them pause. And I say it is not a bad thing to pause about what we’re putting into our bodies. But I would encourage them to go back to that decision about why they were going to go ahead and be vaccinated.”

The Sedgwick County Health Department will wait on official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before it resuming administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

A federal board voted in support of lifting the pause on Friday, but the CDC has yet to make a decision on whether they’ll accept the recommendation to restart the single-shot vaccinations.

The CDC halted the process after 15 women, most of them younger than 50, developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot. Three of the women died.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. Most people who have received them have had no or only mild side effects.

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