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State says it will resume use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine
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State says it will resume use of Johnson and Johnson vaccine

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The state health department said Friday it is recommending Montana providers resume using the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after a federal panel voted to end an 11-day pause because of concerns over extremely rare blood clots.

On Friday, after a safety review and meetings of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC determined use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should resume.

The pause came after six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in women after receiving the vaccine. The decision to continue the vaccine's use comes along with outreach to providers to ensure people are made aware of the risk and how to spot problems related to blood clots and low platelets, also known as thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome.

The single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine is important for states like Montana, where patients often need to travel long distances for medical care. It also does not require ultra-cold storage, making it easier to administer in rural areas.

"This certainly underscores the importance placed in vaccine safety. DPHHS encourages all Montanans age 16 and older to get the COVID vaccine," said a spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health and Human Service.

By Friday, 296,619 Montanans were fully immunized.

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