By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has resumed the use of Janssen, the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. This comes in response to the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announcement that providers should resume using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We are happy to have this highly effective, one-dose vaccine back as an option for Coloradans,” said Dr. Eric France, CDPHE chief medical officer, in a statement. “We appreciate the caution the CDC and FDA took to evaluate the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and are ready to ramp back up distribution as quickly as possible.”

Colorado paused administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine last week after federal health officials recommended temporarily suspending use of the vaccine after reviewing reports of six individuals in the U.S. who got rare and severe blood clots after receiving the vaccine (now called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome or TTS).

Gov. Jared Polis released this statement regarding the use of the J&J vaccine, “I’m glad to hear that after carefully reviewing data and proceeding with appropriate caution, the FDA is recommending that we resume using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in our efforts to vaccinate people against this deadly virus. The vaccine, which requires just one shot, is especially helpful in our efforts to protect those who may be transient, lack a medical home, or have transportation challenges, and Colorado will be resuming use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While this vaccine is approved for those 18 and up, all Coloradans 16 and up are eligible for a vaccine and I urge everyone to get it, so that together we can power the Colorado comeback.”

According to a press release from the FDA and CDC, the two agencies have determined the following:

  • Use of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine should be resumed in the United States.
  • The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
  • The FDA has determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older.
  • At this time, the available data suggest that the chance of TTS occurring is very low, but the FDA and CDC will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.
  • Health care providers administering the vaccine and vaccine recipients or caregivers should review the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) and Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers, which have been revised to include information about the risk of this syndrome, which has occurred in a very small number of people who have received the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine.

“Vaccine safety and the health and safety of all Coloradans is a top priority,” Dr. France added in a statement. “The CDC and FDA conducted this investigation and review out of an abundance of caution and is a result of their long-standing and ongoing safety monitoring processes of all vaccines.”

In Colorado, about 95% of vaccines have been from Pfizer and Moderna, which haven’t had any health issues associated with them other than the listed side effects.

Jennifer McRae