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Arizona health department recommends resuming J&J vaccine

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)

PHOENIX – The Arizona Department of Health Services said it is advising providers to resume use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot.

The CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration expressed confidence in a press release on Friday that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.

The two federal agencies recommended pausing the use of the J&J vaccine on April 13 after six reported U.S. cases, out of 6.8 million doses administered nationally, of a rare and severe type of blood clot on vaccinated individuals.

“After recommending a pause out of an abundance of caution, we join our federal partners in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the vaccine available to you,” AZDHS Director Dr. Cara Christ said in a press release.

“Arizonans can be confident that all COVID-19 vaccines approved for emergency use, including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, have undergone a thorough review for safety and efficacy. The federal review will continue on all of the vaccines as more people are vaccinated.”

So far in Arizona, 226,300 doses of the J&J vaccine have been allocated, of which approximately 122,000 have been administered.

During the 11-day pause, AZDHS worked with local public health departments and community partners to make Moderna and Pfizer vaccines appointments available.

Information provided with the vaccine will advise patients about extremely low potential for thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome, which involves blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

The very rare syndrome was identified mainly in females between the ages of 18 and 49.

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the AZDHS website has a vaccine-finder page showing locations and registration information.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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