Maine resumes use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 8:30pm

    AUGUSTA — Following the guidance of the U.S. CDC, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday evening the State of Maine will resume use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Johnson & Johnson. 

    Maine CDC is working with vaccine providers to support the administration of existing supplies of the J&J vaccine that have been held in storage since the pause, a press release noted.

    “After an 11-day pause to review the scientific information around extremely rare blood clots, an expert Committee recommended that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be reinstated for use,” said a joint statement from Maine DHHS Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew and Maine CDC Director Nirav D. Shah. “Following the Committee’s recommendation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized vaccine providers to resume use of the J&J vaccine. As a result, Maine recommends that providers resume use of the J&J vaccine effective immediately. This thorough scientific investigation demonstrates the strength of the U.S. vaccine safety system. We stand ready to work with providers to resume use of the J&J vaccine as part of our broader effort to vaccinate Maine people quickly and equitably.”

    As soon as the U.S. CDC makes J&J vaccine available for ordering, the State will place additional orders.

    Following the pause on April 13, Maine acted swiftly to redirect doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to sites that had planned to administer the J&J vaccine when possible to keep vaccination appointments for Maine people.

    Maine has administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and currently leads the nation in the percent of its population that is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg tracker.