The South Dakota Department of Health announced Monday that health systems and federal retail pharmacies across the state are resuming the use and administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The decision was made following the announcement last Friday by the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it had satisfactorily studied and approved the use of the vaccine for those 18 years of age and older, lifting the pause it had implemented on April 13th.
State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that the pause and restart of this vaccine should be one more example of their commitment in ensuring vaccine safety and prove that transparent and rigorous established safety standards work.
The pause, announced by the CDC on April 13th, came after six reports of U.S. cases among women of rare and severe types of blood clots after receiving the vaccine. More than 16-thousand people in the state have received the one-dose series vaccine, and over six-point-eight million Johnson & Johnson shots have been administered nationwide. No serious adverse reactions to the vaccine have been reported in South Dakota.
While the side effects of concern are extremely rare, the state Department of Health said that the FDA and CDC have recommended those who develop symptoms like a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, should immediately contact their healthcare provider.