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Florida resumes use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine Sunday at FEMA sites

It is a critical vaccine to fight the coronavirus pandemic, an epidemiologist said.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shots of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine are once again going into arms across Florida.

The state announced it would resume the use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting 7 a.m. Sunday at all federally-supported vaccination sites. U.S. health officials on Friday lifted an 11-day pause on vaccinations using the Johnson & Johnson product following reports of some people developing an extremely rare type of blood clot.

In Tampa Bay, that means the Tampa Greyhound Track will resume giving out the J&J shots.

Fifteen cases were reported out of nearly 8 million people who received the vaccine, according to the Associated Press. All were women, most under the age of 50. Three people died while seven remain in the hospital.

Officials from the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the risk of blood clots, however, could be handled with warnings to help younger women decide if they should use the shot or find an alternative, such as the two-dose Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

RELATED: Doctor says Johnson & Johnson vaccine remains vital in Florida

RELATED: US lifts pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations

State and federally-supported vaccine sites, including the Tampa Greyhound Track, had been using the Johnson & Johnson shots before the recommended pause. All have switched over to offering the two-dose vaccines.

But with the pause now lifted, it is anticipated the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shots will be used once again at both state and federally supported sites.

"It really is one of the most critical, critical vaccines," said epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, a senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists. "I’m looking forward to them ending the pause because the known life-saving benefits in a risky deadly pandemic cannot be discounted."

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