Fauci expects Johnson & Johnson vaccinations to resume later this week

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Landon Stamper, Aiken Standard, S.C.
·3 min read
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Apr. 18—The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine may resume administration later this week after a brief pause, the government's top infectious diseases expert said Sunday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a series of news show interviews, said he expects a decision when advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet Friday to discuss the pause in J&J's single-dose vaccine.

"I would be very surprised if we don't have a resumption in some form by Friday," he said. "I don't really anticipate that they're going to want it stretch it out a bit longer."

Fauci said he believed that federal regulators could bring the shots back with restrictions based on age or gender or with a blanket warning so that it is administered in a way "a little bit different than we were before the pause."

The J&J vaccine has been in limbo after the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration said last week they needed more evidence to decide if a handful of unusual blood clots were linked to the shot — and, if so, how big the risk is.

The reports are rare — six cases out of more than 7 million U.S. inoculations with J&J vaccine. The clots were found in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person died.

Authorities stressed they have found no sign of clot problems with the most widely used COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. — from Moderna and Pfizer.

As of April 18, South Carolina has received 3,775,870 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 2,721,712.

A total of 46,896 Aiken County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. About 26% of South Carolinians are fully vaccinated.

Aiken Regional Medical Centers will be holding two upcoming Moderna vaccine clinics at USC Aiken. The clinics will be held between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on April 21 and 28 at the university's Student Activities Center, 471 University Parkway. There will be 900 first-dose vaccines available to walk-ins on a first-come, first-served basis. There are also 1,740 second-doses scheduled between the two clinics, requiring an appointment.

The Moderna vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 18. Attendees must bring a valid photo ID and wear a mask.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine provider, visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or call DHEC's COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 866-365-8110.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed nine COVID-19 cases in Aiken County on Sunday, along with 577 cases and 14 deaths across the state. None of the deaths were in Aiken County.

The data reported Sunday is for the date of April 16.

Sunday's report brings the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Aiken County to 12,679, with 176 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.

Aiken County also has reported a total of 4,201 probable COVID-19 cases and 42 probable coronavirus-related deaths.

Neighboring Barnwell County confirmed two virus cases Sunday, and Edgefield County confirmed one case.

Across the entire state, there are 508 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. There are currently seven COVID-19 beds occupied in Aiken County.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC statewide Sunday was 17,000, and the percent positive was 4.5%.

The total number of cases statewide is now 475,601, with 93,678 probable cases, 8,222 confirmed deaths and 1,114 probable deaths.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.