Illinois will resume use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after federal pause lifted

Coronavirus

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The nation is poised to get a third vaccine against COVID-19, but health officials are concerned that at first glance the Johnson & Johnson shot may not be seen as equal to other options from Pfizer and Moderna. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Public Health will resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after U.S. health officials lifted the pause on it Friday afternoon.

Scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot after 15 vaccine recipients developed them. Nearly 8 million people were given the Johnson & Johnson shot in the U.S.

Providers in Illinois who previously received doses of the vaccine will be able to immediately begin administering it. Allocations of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the federal government will resume next week.

Approximately 760,000 doses were allocated to Illinois before the pause, of which approximately 290,000 were administered.

“The pause was proof that the extensive safety monitoring system is working and was able to detect a very small number of adverse events. The FDA has concluded that the known and potential benefits of the J&J vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks,” IDPH said in a release.

The Chicago Department of Public Health will follow Illinois’ lead and also distribute the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

On Friday, Illinois reported 3,369 new cases of COVID-19 with 22 additional deaths.

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