Panel recommends J&J COVID-19 vaccines to resume

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Friday, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted 10 to four to resume use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite a very rare risk of blood clots. There’s no word on when the J&J vaccine will resume in Mississippi.

Forty percent of Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, whether it be Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. Health experts said Mississippi ranks towards the bottom for vaccination rates. Less than a quarter of Mississippians have been fully vaccinated.

Accessibility to the vaccines has been hard in rural parts of the state, including the Mississippi Delta. Pam Chatman started Boss Lady Transportation to help provide rides to people who need lifts to vaccination sites. She said when the J&J vaccine was paused, people she served lost interest altogether.

“We were getting ready to do the J&J here at a local church. We had about 300 people signed up to get vaccinated. As soon as they heard that J&J was paused, everyone pulled out. We had only 50 people who decided to stay and take the Moderna,” she said.

Chatman said the people who backed out were of all ages.

Everyone over the age of 16 in the state is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. People can be vaccinated at state-run drive-thru sites, as well as at community health centers, at some pharmacies and private healthcare providers.

People eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine can make an appointment at COVIDvaccine.umc.edu or by calling the COVID-19 call center at 1-877-978-6453.

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