Gov. Cox Calls J&J Pause ‘Frustrating’ As Utah Sees Record Week For Vaccines

Apr 15, 2021, 1:40 PM | Updated: 1:41 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Gov. Spencer Cox announced Utah set a record with nearly 205,000 vaccines administered over the last week and called the FDA pausing use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine “frustrating” during his monthly press conference.

Cox started Thursday’s conference by saying the state is no longer discouraging individuals who recently had COVID-19 from receiving a vaccine.

He said Utahns who tested positive for the virus should wait until they no longer show symptoms, but they do not have to wait for 90 days from the end of their symptoms or quarantine to get a vaccine.

Cox also said Utah has made significant progress to get minority and underserved communities vaccinated.

Low Transmission Rates & Vaccine Records

Kane, Millard and Washington counties all moved to the low level of transmission on Thursday, bringing the total number of counties in low to 12.

Utah’s remaining 17 counties were all in the moderate level.

(Utah Department of Health)

Over the last week, 204,969 vaccine doses were administered across Utah, setting a record for that time period.

Cox received his second vaccine dose after the conference and said 741,819 Utahns have been fully vaccinated.

J&J Pause ‘Frustrating’

The governor said the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine had become a popular choice for many because it’s only one shot instead of two and it has helped the state reach more rural areas.

Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines that require ultra-cold refrigeration, J&J shots can be stored at temperatures between 36° and 46°F, making them easier to transport and store.

“It’s frustrating, to be honest, this pause — I understand the reasons for doing that although I don’t necessarily agree with the reasons for the pause,” he said. “As human beings, we are really bad at understanding and evaluating risk. If you look at the numbers with this clotting issue, the numbers are minuscule. … When you compare it to the odds of somebody contracting the virus, getting hospitalized or dying from the virus, it’s not even in the same zip code.”

No clotting issues have been reported following the over-77,000 J&J doses that had been administered in Utah before the pause.

“I am fearful this will have serious negative connotations with people who are hesitant to get the vaccine in the first place, who are looking for a reason to not to want to get the vaccine,” he said.

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Gov. Cox Calls J&J Pause ‘Frustrating’ As Utah Sees Record Week For Vaccines