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New York State to Resume Use of Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine


FILE - New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event to announce new walk-in pop-up COVID-19 vaccination sites in the Harlem section of New York City, April 23, 2021.

The governor of the U.S. state of New York announced Saturday the state would immediately resume vaccinating residents with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, despite evidence that it is linked to rare cases of blood clots.

Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement in a statement one day after a U.S. health panel recommended ending a pause on the use of the vaccine.

“World-renowned public health experts from the federal government and our own independent state task force have reviewed the data and reaffirmed that the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can resume,” Cuomo said. “The state of New York will resume administration of this vaccine at all of our state-run sites effective immediately.”

Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday that use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be resumed in the U.S. after regulators had paused it last week to review reports of rare but severe blood clots in a handful of Americans who had received the shot.

The panel voted 10-4 for resumption of the vaccine, arguing that benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 52,000 lives in the state, second only to California’s more than 61,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In India, 346,786 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24-hour period were reported. The South Asian nation has reported record-breaking tolls of new cases for several days. The resurgence has India’s hospitals scrambling to provide oxygen for the COVID patients who are struggling to breathe.

The Biden administration’s top medical adviser on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said Friday the U.S. is attempting to help India contain its coronavirus surge by providing technical support and assistance.

“It is a dire situation that we’re trying to help in any way we can,” Fauci said at the regularly held White House coronavirus briefing.

People sit along the promenade as Israel rescinds the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors in the latest return to relative normality, in Jaffa, Israel, April 18, 2021.
People sit along the promenade as Israel rescinds the mandatory wearing of face masks outdoors in the latest return to relative normality, in Jaffa, Israel, April 18, 2021.

Israel’s health ministry said Friday that no COVID deaths were recorded on Thursday. It was the first day in ten months that the ministry did not register any COVID fatalities.

The last time no new cases were recorded in the Middle Eastern country was June 29. Israel has been a world leader in inoculating its population against the coronavirus.

More than 5 million Israelis, a little under 58% of the population, have received both doses of the vaccines.

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported Saturday there were more than 145.7 million global COVID-19 infections. The U.S. remains at the top of the list as the country with the most infections at almost 32 million. India is second on the list with more than 16.6 million cases, followed by Brazil with 14.2 million.

Seventy-seven inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary at Fort Madison received overdoses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine — reportedly six times the normal amount — earlier this week.

“The large majority of inmates continue to have very minor symptoms consistent with those that receive the recommended dose of the vaccine,” Cord Overton, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Corrections, told the Des Moines Register by email.

Two members of the prison’s nursing staff, who administered the vaccines, have been placed on leave as the incident is investigated.

Pope Frances met with a group of poor people Friday who were getting their coronavirus vaccinations, which had been donated by the Vatican.

As the group gathered in the Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican to receive their second dose of the 600 available doses, the pope greeted them and volunteers helping with the vaccinations.