LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With the pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine lifted, Kentucky health providers can resume using the vaccine. And the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is very happy about that.
"Logistically, it is so much easier to give one dose to people," said Kevin Hall, the department's spokesperson. "It's one and done rather than having to schedule something for four weeks later."
On Thursday, the health department is hosting a special vaccine clinic at the Southeast Lexington Center to reach more people. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used at the clinic.
The vaccine was put on pause earlier this month after 15 people out of nearly eight million who have gotten the shot developed rare blood clots. Three ended up dying.
After looking into it, the FDA and the CDC decided the risks from the coronavirus far outweigh the risk of rare side effects from the vaccine. The Lexington health department says the vaccine wouldn't have been allowed if it wasn't safe.
"The product would not have been taken off of pause if the FDA or CDC had seen an issue and a need to keep investigating this," said Hall. "The state of Kentucky has given the authorization for places to use it and we're putting our support in this as well. We are providing a product that we believe is safe. We know that it's effective and we want people to get the shot."
But the department knows the pause may cause some vaccine hesitation. That's something they're going to work on fixing and the community can help with it.
"One of the best ways we can is with help from the community. If you've received a Johnson-and Johnson product, let people know what your experience was like. Let them know that it was safe, that you've not had issues," said Hall. "The more that people can connect with the folks that they know, the better off we'll be on this."