Sanford Health will resume use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 9:30 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The CDC has given the green light for health care providers to resume the use of the one-dose, Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

State health officials in both North Dakota and Minnesota are recommending shots of the vaccine again start going into the arms of residents.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause for nearly two weeks, to allow the CDC to investigate a rare side effect.

“The only safety signal we have found one in a million chance of a blood clot in the brain,” said Dr. Anvish Nagpal, an infectious disease physician and medical director at Sanford Health.

After looking into the matter, the CDC recently lifted its previously suggested pause on the vaccine.

The North Dakota Department of Health is now recommending local health care providers continue using the anti-viral medication.

Sanford Health in Fargo will begin giving out the vaccine again once the quantities arrive. Officials for the hospital says its an important step in the effort of reaching herd immunity.

“I think it’s important to use whatever resources we have to prevent a third wave, fourth wave, fifth wave,” said Dr. Nagpal. “We’ve seen how COVID can catch fire and start spreading in the community again without too much of a warning.”

The attention surrounding the short suspension of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may have some people feeling hesitant to get a shot. Sanford Health officials say there’s now enough data to back up its effectiveness.

“Even though the incidents were one in a million the vaccine’s safety monitoring system works and we picked up a side effect that was as rare as one in a million,” said Nagpal.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available at Sanford Hospital and at the vaccination center inside the former Gordman’s building. They do not yet have a timeline of when the J&J vaccine will be available. Right now, majority of the vaccines Sanford Health is administering are Pfizer.

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