Michigan says Johnson & Johnson vaccinations should resume

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that providers resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for residents 18 years of age and older, according to a news release Friday night.

The department's announcement came after the federal Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended moving forward with the vaccine after an 11-day pause spurred by rare blood clotting cases.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, left, Michigan’s chief medical executive, addresses the media as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer listens on Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

"This brief pause indicates there is a robust safety review process in place for these vaccines," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's chief medical executive. "These adverse events appear to be extremely rare as nearly 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. with only 15 cases of this blood clotting syndrome confirmed.

"We encourage everyone to continue making appointments to be vaccinated with the safe and effective Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines are the way we are going to end this pandemic as quickly as possible and move toward a sense of normalcy."

 A spokesman for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said city officials will evaluate the decision and "find an appropriate way to offer a Johnson and Johnson vaccine option.”

U.S. health officials ended an 11-day pause on Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot Friday, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot, according to the Associated Press.

The state health department said teams at FDA and CDC conducted extensive outreach to providers and clinicians to ensure they were made aware of the potential for adverse events and could properly manage and recognize the events.

About 2.7 million Michigan residents, 34% of the adult population, have now received their full COVID-19 vaccinations. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's goal is for 70% of the adult population to be vaccinated.