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Cuomo says NY will resume use of the J&J vaccine


New York state will resume administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced over the weekend, noting that federal public health experts and the state’s own independent task force have reviewed data regarding the J&J vaccine, and reaffirmed that it can be used again.

"The vaccine is the weapon that will win the war against COVID and allow everyone to resume normalcy, and we have three proven vaccines at our disposal. I urge every New Yorker to take whichever one is available to them first. The sooner we all get vaccinated, the sooner we can put the long COVID nightmare behind us once and for all," Cuomo said.

A statement from New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, also released on Saturday, noted that on Friday evening, following a thorough safety review, “The CDC and FDA lifted the recommended pause on the COVID-19 Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said that the United States can resume the use of the vaccine for adults, 18 years of age and older. Following discussions with New York State's Clinical Advisory Task Force and Governor Cuomo, I recommend that New York State accept the federal recommendations and resume Johnson & Johnson vaccinations effective immediately.”

"The data has shown the vaccine's known benefits far outweigh the potential and extremely rare risks, but we urge anyone with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines to speak with their healthcare provider," Zucker added.

U.S. health officials on Friday lifted an 11-day pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations following a recommendation by an expert panel. In an FAQ on its website, the CDC said that a review of all available data showed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine's "known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks for those recommended to receive it."

The government uncovered 15 vaccine recipients who developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.

The CDC's website said that women younger than 50 years old should be aware that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has a rare but increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome. It noted that there are other COVID-19 vaccines available "for which this risk has not been seen."

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.