The CDC has given providers the green light to resume vaccinations using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The Houston Health Department says they have about 300 doses, which will be used for in-home vaccinations this week.
After analyzing data, a team of health experts decided the benefits of the single-dose vaccine outweigh the small risk of blood clots.
Health officials temporarily paused vaccinations after 15 women developed a rare, but serious condition called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia. The 15 cases are out of more than eight million doses administered in the United States.
“We would be concerned with primarily women who are less than 50 years of age who may have additional risk factors for blood clots like smoking, birth control, who have a history of problems with clotting,” said Dr. Luis Ostrosky, an infectious diseases specialist with UTHealth and UT Physicians.
Dr. Ostrosky says the single-dose vaccine has been a critical tool in getting vaccines to harder-to-reach neighborhoods. He’s worried pausing the vaccine – even for such a short period of time – will impact people who are already hesitant towards being immunized.
“I’m very concerned we did a lot of PR damage to this very good vaccine. It works pretty well and it's remarkably safe. When you compare the incidence of blood clots with this vaccine to blood clots from birth control, smoking, actually getting COVID, it’s a lot less,” he said.
Harris County Public Health has 58,000 doses of the J&J vaccine. HCPH released the following statement Monday:
“At this time Harris County Public Health (HCPH) does not have a time-frame to resume use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently, residents who sign up for the NRG vaccine site will receive the Pfizer vaccine and residents who sign up for all other HCPH sites will receive the Moderna vaccine. Both of these vaccines require two doses to be fully effective.”