Mississippi resumed the use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, ending a temporary pause that began on April 13.
Around 40,000 of the 90,000 Johnson & Johnson doses the state has received sat unused during the pause, according to State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
MSDH has updated its recommendations for healthcare providers administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. These recommendations include measures such as informing vaccine recipients of the risk of developing the rare blood clots that prompted the pause, and having an alternative COVID-19 vaccine available for patients who request it.
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 was ended 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.
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. 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.
In an attempt to curtail existing barriers to vaccine access, MSDH and its community health partners have begun administering at-home vaccinations for Mississippians that cannot access traditional vaccination sites. Those interested in setting up a vaccination appointment this way should reach out to MSDH by email at COVIDhomebound@msdh.ms.gov.
“We have recognized that this is the stage of the response where we need to bring vaccines to where people live,” Dobbs said.