FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday (April 26) that Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) single-dose COVID-19 vaccines would resume in Arkansas after brief pause due to rare cases of blood clots in some U.S. vaccine recipients.
“Vaccinations are the most important tool we have to neutralize COVID-19,” Governor Hutchinson said.
Earlier this month, health officials discovered that 15 vaccine receivers developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot, out of nearly 8 million people given the J&J shot, the AP reports. All were women, most under age 50. Three died, and seven remain hospitalized.
The Arkansas Department of Health halted the use of the J&J vaccine in the state following the news of the rare blood clots.
On Friday (April 23), the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decided that J&J’s vaccine is critical to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Both groups advised that the temporary halt on the J&J vaccine should be lifted. They also recommended warnings should be associated with the J&J vaccine to help young women decide if they should use that shot or an alternative.
“The resumption of the J&J distribution allows us to say with confidence that the vaccine is as safe as the first two,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “This will reenergize our campaign to persuade everyone to be immunized. Vaccinations are the only way we can bring this global pandemic to an end. Now that the pause is lifted, the J&J vaccine will be available through many pharmacies and Arkansas’s local public health units. Don’t wait any longer to get your shot.”
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 695,341 Arkansans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.