Berrien County to resume administering Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

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Following the recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Berrien County Health Department will resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in Berrien County for anyone 18 years or older.

The agencies previously recommended a pause on April 13th while experts conducted a thorough safety review after reports of an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome in some people. The FDA and CDC have confidence that this vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 and have determined that the available data show that the vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.

The next opportunity to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be at a clinic on Tuesday, May 4, at the Berrien County Health Department office in Benton Harbor with appointments available now for self-scheduling online at www.bchdmi.org/COVID19.

BCHD continues to offer the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in addition to now resuming administration of the J&J vaccine. While scheduling an appointment will guarantee vaccine availability, BCHD will welcome walk-ins at COVID-19 vaccine clinics beginning in May, while supplies last.

Residents needing a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are now able to schedule an appointment for themselves online, but will be asked to present their vaccination record card at the time of their appointment. Anyone self-scheduling for a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination should pay careful attention that they choose a clinic offering the same type of vaccine received for their first dose.

As of April 23, only 32.5 percent of all Berrien County residents aged 16 years or older have completed COVID-19 vaccination (two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Nearly 45 percent have received at least one or more doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines.

BCHD continues to offer open scheduling for both first and second doses with appointment availability found at www.bchdmi.org/COVID19; residents who need assistance in scheduling an appointment can call 1.800.815.5485.

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