CDC, FDA Lift Temporary Pause On Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine

New York resumed using the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine Saturday. Late Friday, the CDC and FDA lifted a temporary pause prompted by safety concerns; Michael George reports for CBS2.

Video Transcript

- New York resumed using the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine today. Late Friday the CDC and the FDA lifted a temporary pause prompted by safety concerns. CBS2's Michael George reports on why the benefit still outweighs the risk.

MICHAEL GEORGE: After more than a week in limbo, Johnson & Johnson single shot vaccine is back in play. Late Friday, the CDC and the FDA announced they're lifting the pause in using the vaccine, saying it was found to be safe and effective.

JANET WOODCOCK: Together both agencies have full confidence that this vaccine's known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks. Millions of doses were placed on hold after a handful of women, most under the age of 50, developed a rare and dangerous type of blood clot. The CDC has so far identified 15 cases, three were fatal. During the announcement, CBS chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook asked whether the pause has had any impact on confidence in the J&J vaccine.

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: I actually think that this pause conveyed that we are taking every one of these needles in haystacks that we find seriously and that we're really examining, scrutinizing the data that we're seeing. The US has recently been averaging around 60,000 new COVID cases a day.

BOB WACHTER: We're flat with 700 deaths a day. So it's not like we're in a particularly great place.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Still, people are yearning for a taste of life as it was before the pandemic.

- There's nothing like the smell of the popcorn, and just being in the theater, and just enjoying, and actually having the interaction with other people.

MICHAEL GEORGE: This week several movie theaters reopened in the Atlanta area. And now that he's fully vaccinated, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to once again hug players and draft prospects. The decision was announced ahead of the NFL draft, which kicks off next Thursday. Michael George, CBS News.