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Health Report: Fairbanks to resume use of J&J vaccine in near future

Published: Apr. 27, 2021 at 4:16 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Fairbanks will resume the use and administration of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine in the near future.

After the halt of Johnson & Johnson vaccines due to health concerns, Fairbanks Public Health announced on Friday April 23rd that use of the vaccine will get back underway.

According to Clint Brooks, Incident Commander for Unified Command of Interior Alaska, the use of the vaccine is planned to occur soon. Brooks explained, “So as you know, the Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force approved on Friday to go ahead and start administering Johnson & Johnson in Alaska. We had originally had Johnson & Johnson PODs (Points of Distribution) planned at the Carlson Center for April 20th, and of course that got canceled due to the pause. So we’re going to reevaluate and see what our next available dates are to start distributing Johnson & Johnson.”

According to Brooks, the decision for the continued use of J&J was decided by the Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force. Brooks remarked, “When you look at the risk over the benefits, the benefits outweigh the potential risks. In Alaska we’ve distributed 11,000 doses of vaccine and we had no one report the thrombosis. We’ve distributed nationally almost 8 million doses and 4 million of those to women, and only had 15 cases to date. So looking at those numbers, I believe that they said the benefit outweighs the risk.”

The vaccine has been deemed safe and effective by Public Health officials who urge residents to receive their vaccines.

“I think that Johnson & Johnson is a safe vaccine. Given the number of vaccines that’s been distributed and the amount of issues with that vaccine, it is extremely effective. And it’s a one dose vaccine, it’s one and you’re done. So you don’t have to worry about scheduling and making a second appointment to get vaccinated like you do with Pfizer and Moderna. So I hope that people take the opportunity and believe that our health care providers have done the due diligence to make sure it’s safe for them,” commented Brooks.

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