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Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Could Return Friday, Possibly With New Warnings

Amr Alfiky/The New York Times via AP, Pool

The nationwide pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccines could be lifted this week, according to the nation's top infectious disease expert.

The pause on J&J vaccines hasn't so much affected overall supply in the Kentucky, with Pfizer and Moderna providing enough doses to stay on pace, but the worry has been about populations who were either waiting specifically for the single shot vaccine or those who are more difficult to reach.

"The hard-to-reach communities J&J was almost tailored for," Gov. Andy Beshear said last week. "You only have to get people one vaccine and with more transient communities, people who are moving around, maybe following work, in many ways it appeared to be the perfect vaccine."

And it still could be in many instances, depending on what new warnings might come with the vaccine if the pause is lifted. Beshear said the vaccine had proven popular in Kentucky, but it's unclear how the headlines may affect enthusiasm for the shot.

The vaccine is under review following an extremely rare but serious blot clotting condition in six women who received the vaccine. White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts an advisory committee decision on the pause by Friday, along with new potential warnings or restrictions attached to the shot.

If so, Kentucky may have to place limits on its use where it's been most effective — in independent pharmacies, prisons, and campaigns to vaccinate those experiencing homelessness.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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