Maryland health department recommends providers resume use of J&J coronavirus vaccine

The Maryland Department of Health recommends that providers resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine after the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration investigated reports of rare blood clots in patients that received the vaccine.

“MDH believes that, while it is important to understand the risks of any medical therapy, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines outweigh the risks,” the health department said in a press release.

The CDC and FDA released that after a thorough safety and review, that the pause of the J&J vaccine should be lifted and that health care providers should carefully resume using the vaccine for those 18 and above.

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one of our most important tools in the ongoing fight to prevent hospitalizations and deaths associated with COVID-19,” said Dr. Jinlene Chan, MDH’s deputy secretary for public health services. “By resuming use of this safe and effective vaccine in Maryland, we will continue to bolster our ability to stay ahead of new cases and emerging variants.”

The health department said that providers should share with patients updated information about the potential risks related to the vaccine, including the rare occurrence of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome.

The condition causes a rare type of blood clot is found in combination with low platelet levels, the release said.

Out of nearly 8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine administered, 15 cases of TTS have been identified.

Most such cases occurred in females ages 18 through 49 years, with the onset of symptoms one to two weeks after vaccination. Three of the patients died, according to the CDC.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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