COVID Shot In Arm

South Dakota and Nebraska health systems and those pharmacies participating in the federal COVID vaccination program have resumed administering Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines, the state Department of Health (DOH) announced Monday.

This decision was made following the announcement last Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it has studied and approved the use of the vaccine for those 18 years of age and older. The J&J vaccinations were paused nationwide on April 13 after of reports of rare blood clotting events in six women, including one case in Nebraska.

“The pause and restart of this vaccine should be one more example of our commitment in ensuring vaccine safety and prove that transparent and rigorous established safety standards work,” South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in a press release. “We know all available vaccines have been proven effective against hospitalization and death from COVID-19, further highlighting the importance of getting your shot scheduled today.”

To date, 16,295 South Dakotans have received the one-dose series vaccine, and over 6.8 million J&J shots have been administered nationwide and no serious adverse reactions to the vaccine have been reported in South Dakota, the DOH said.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced the resumption of offering the J&J vaccine in a press release issued Monday afternoon.

“Appropriate providers should resume administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” the DHHS said.

Nebraska providers who have a current supply of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should resume using those doses, the press release added.

Meanwhile, South Dakota reported 97 new COVID-19 infections in two new deaths in Monday’s update.

The two deaths raised the state toll to 1,960. The deaths were not reported in the Yankton area.

Yankton County recorded nine new infections and five new recoveries, lifting the number of active cases to 70. No new hospitalizations were reported.

Other area counties reporting new positive tests included Bon Homme (+1), Clay (+4), Hutchinson (+5) and Turner (+4) counties in South Dakota, and Cedar (+1) and Knox (+1) counties in Nebraska.

In the DOH’s weekly update on South Dakota education institutions:

• Grades K-12 schools reported 162 new cases last week, down from 208 the previous week. So far this school year, there have been 15,336 cases reported (11,460 students, 3,876 staff) with 14,999 recoveries;

• Among the state’s colleges, universities and technical schools, 15 new cases were recorded last week, down from 38 the week prior. Since mid-August, there have been 4,108 cases reported (3,444 students, 664 staff) with 4,059 recoveries.

On Monday, the University of South Dakota reported five active cases (all students), which was unchanged from the last report on Thursday. Nine people were in quarantine/isolation (+1), none of whom were on campus (0 change).

No new report was posted for Mount Marty University.

In Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services recorded 100 new cases and no new deaths, keeping the state death toll at 2,242.

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