California, western states OK resuming use of Johnson & Johnson

r. Nadine Burke-Harris, the California surgeon general, receives the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Oakland Coliseum. March 11, 2021

The governors of California, Washington, Oregon and Nevada concluded on Saturday that the use of the Johnson & Johnson  COVID-19 vaccine is safe and should resume in the western states.

Independent scientists concluded the J&J vaccine is effective, and that using it "will support COVID-19 vaccine uptake, help reduce severe COVID-19 illnesses and control the pandemic," the joint statement from the governors said. 

The western states had their own scientists independently review the FDA’s actions related to COVID-19 vaccines.

"After additional review, analysis and scrutiny, experts have concluded the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe, effective and will protect you against the COVID-19 virus," Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

The announcement comes one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lifted its 11-day pause on the use of the vaccine, following a review by a federal vaccine safety review panel.

About 15 women out of 8 million had reported some rare blood clots associated with the vaccine. 

The caveat with resuming the use of the J&J vaccine is that the western governors said a vaccine information fact sheet should be distributed, and they should be culturally and linguistically appropriate and available in multiple languages.

Newsom added that to date, about a million Californians have already received this vaccine – including himself and many of the state’s top doctors.

"I encourage all Californians to trust the science, getting vaccinated is the best way to protect ourselves and our loved ones and end the pandemic," Newsom said.