Skip to contents
Coronavirus

Colorado health leaders OK use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The federal government paused use of the J&J shot — also called the Janssen vaccine — after 15 of the nearly 8 million people to receive vaccine developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot

A box containing the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Hugo, Colorado, on March 19, 2021. The public health department administered 298 doses of the single-shot vaccine and had an additional 20 to give out at a future event. (Brian Malone, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado can resume using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine now that federal regulators have lifted an 11-day pause on the shot, state public health leaders said.

“We are happy to have this highly effective, one-dose vaccine back as an option for Coloradans,” Dr. Eric France with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a prepared statement, the Denver Post reported Saturday. “We appreciate the caution the CDC and FDA took to evaluate the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are ready to ramp back up distribution as quickly as possible.”

TODAY’S UNDERWRITER

The federal government paused use of the J&J shot — also called the Janssen vaccine — after 15 of the nearly 8 million people to receive vaccine developed a highly unusual kind of blood clot. All were women and most were under age 50. Three died and seven remain hospitalized. Ultimately, federal health officials decided the one-dose vaccine is critical to fight the pandemic, and that warnings about the small risk of clots could be issued to help younger women weigh which brand of vaccine they should use.

The shot will be resumed in Colorado with an updated warning from the Food and Drug Administration. France said vaccine providers and recipients should review the updated vaccine fact sheets.

“Vaccine safety and the health and safety of all Coloradans is a top priority,” France said. “The CDC and FDA conducted this investigation and review out of an abundance of caution … a result of their long-standing and ongoing safety monitoring processes of all vaccines.”

Nearly 500,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in Colorado since the pandemic began, along with nearly 6,400 COVID-19 deaths, according to the Department of Public Health and Environment. Roughly 2.64 million residents have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine so far, according to the department.