At least 32 states have resumed the use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot COVID-19 vaccine, but Mississippi is not one of them.
“As of now, the Mississippi State Department of Health continues to pause Johnson and Johnson vaccine. The agency will review additional information and will advise the media and public if and when Mississippi resumes administration of the vaccine,” Liz Sharlot, director of communications at the Mississippi Department of Health, told Mississippi Today in a statement on Tuesday.
Less than 5% of Mississippians who have received a COVID-19 vaccine received Johnson & Johnson, so the pause has had little impact on the state’s overall vaccine supply-chain. Still, the effects of its absence will likely be more pronounced in rural areas, where the shot’s more lax storage requirements and singular dose requirement have helped ease logistical issues in vaccine distribution.
It is still unclear how the pause will affect Mississippi’s already high rate of vaccine hesitancy. The number of COVID-19 vaccines being administered in Mississippi has decreased 35% over the last two weeks, marking a growing rift between the state’s supply of vaccines and the population’s demand for them.
Federal health agencies ended their recommendation for a temporary pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Friday, and since then a majority of states have resumed its administration. The pause recommendation only lasted 10 days, and was changed after an extensive safety review by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Acting out of an abundance of caution, federal health agencies issued the pause recommendation after six people were discovered to have developed a rare blood clot, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A subsequent safety review found that 15 of the nearly 8 million people that have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. developed the rare blood clot.
A new warning will now be placed on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine label, and health care providers administering the shot have been instructed to inform patients of the associated risks.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner said in a press release: “We have concluded that the known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. We are confident that this vaccine continues to meet our standards for safety, effectiveness and quality. We recommend people with questions about which vaccine is right for them have those discussions with their health care provider.”