Georgia to lift pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

The Georgia Department of Public Health said Monday it will lift the statewide pause on administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after pausing over safety concerns.

The Georgia DPH said details on when the administration of the vaccine to Georgians 18 and older will resume are forthcoming.

The decision by Georgia health officials follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and CDC recommended states pause administering the vaccine on April 13 until the agencies conducted a safety review over concerns of rare but fatal blood clots in some J&J vaccine recipients. The Georgia DPH announced later that day it would follow the federal agencies' guidance.

SEE ALSO: Georgia's mass vaccination sites to shift to Johnson & Johnson shots in May

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention formally resumed the vaccine's emergency use authorization for adults 18 and older after a panel on Friday voted 10-4 to resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Nearly 8 million people in the U.S. and approximately 124,000 Georgians received the J&J vaccine before it was suspended. Health officials said there were 15 cases of a highly unusual kind of blood clot, three of them fatal. All were women, and most younger than 50 years old.

Federal agencies advised placing a warning label on the vaccine about the potential for "very rare, but severe" blood clots.

The Georgia DPH said women under 50 years old should be aware of the increased risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome and may choose to receive another vaccine. 

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