The state of Vermont will resume the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against COVID-19 this week.
“I don’t know if it will be Monday — certainly Tuesday,” Gov. Phil Scott said on Friday.
The state announced the vaccinations would resume after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized its use despite a rare risk of blood clots. The experts say the vaccine’s benefits outweigh that serious but small risk.
On Saturday, Vermont began making appointments for clinics that will administer the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Clinics using the other, multi-shot vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, have been taking place as usual.
Agency of Human Services Deputy Secretary Jenney Samuelson said there would be an emphasis on the Northeast Kingdom.
Some Vermonters may be able to get the J&J single shot on Monday; the state will work with pharmacies to see if it’s feasible.
“Our pharmacy partners will need to look at, and respond to, the guidance that comes out,” Samuelson said. “It is anticipated, as the governor said, that we definitely will be ready to go on Tuesday.”
Levine also added that Vermont doesn’t monitor infected patients long-term for the presence of persistent symptoms.
“However, that’s been one of the reasons I’ve been pushing very strongly for our own — within Vermont — study of people long-term with COVID, and we’re very close to beginning that study in a more prospective way,” he said.
The lone treatment program in northern New England for post-COVID syndrome is at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. It’s open to anyone still suffering from symptoms like fatigue, brain fog or shortness of breath more than three months after getting infected.