RADNOR TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — The tri-state area has the green light to restart using the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine following an 11-day pause from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revised its emergency use authorization to include a warning about rare but serious blood clots in some women.
Health officials in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are making plans to resume using the one-and-done J&J shot effective immediately as the race between the vaccine and the variants continue.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mother Pleading To Find Driver Who Struck Son In Hit-And-Run, 'Guardian Angel' Who Found Him
“It was really critical,” Rosemarie Halt with the COVID Task Force Delaware County said. “It’s critical that we get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Delaware County’s health director shared an urgent warning on Saturday.
“If we are not vaccinating people quick enough, it gives time for the variants to gain momentum,” Halt said.”
As New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania lead the nation in new cases, officials note the Johnson & Johnson pause has caused some to question getting the shot or not.
“We did have some cancelations of appointments and not quite running 100% at every site,” Halt said.
Health officials in Delaware County say they have 25,000 J&J doses on hand and are already planning a drive-through site at Delaware County Community College in Media on May 1-2.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Evil Genius Beer Company Giving Out Free Beers To Those Getting Vaccinated In May
“We hope to do 6,000 next weekend,” Halt said.
But caution, even with J&J back in circulation, the lag may have long-term supply issues, just as it seemed to be steadying.
“The month of April was the first time since COVID began that we had a regular supply of vaccine,” Halt said.
Their message, get whichever shot you can as soon as you can.
“Millions of people have received it, it’s safe,” Halt said.
Late Friday, Philadelphia also lifted its pause on the J&J vaccine. A spokesperson for the city said the two mass vaccination sites will continue to use the Pfizer vaccine but are planning on implementing the J&J shots.MORE NEWS: Friday Night In New Jersey Looks Like Something Out Of 2019 As Restrictions Eased
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.