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COVID-19 Update: Janssen Vaccine Use Limited, Mask Wearing and More

The FDA has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 and older where an alternative approved COVID-19 vaccine is not available or clinically appropriate or if the individual would not otherwise get one. The CDC also now recommends mask wearing for public transportation.


As of May 5, the FDA has limited the authorized use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines are not accessible or clinically appropriate or if the individual would not otherwise receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has been limited due to the increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). Since March 18 of this year, the FDA and CDC have identified 60 confirmed cases, including nine fatal cases. For more information, read the amended EUA Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers.


The Iowa Department of Public Health has shared that if there is no space on a vaccine card to document additional or repeated doses of COVID-19 vaccine, providers should document new vaccinations on a NEW card and staple all patient vaccine cards together.

In other vaccine news, the FDA has tentatively set dates to review applications for Moderna and Pfizer's pediatric COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA says it plans to convene its panel of vaccine experts on June 8, 21, and 22.

On May 3, the CDC released updated recommendations for masks and travel. At this time, the CDC recommends that everyone age 2 and older, including both passengers and workers, should wear a well-fitting mask or respirator in indoor areas of public transportation (airplanes, trains, etc.) and transportation hubs (airports, stations, etc.). 

The Vaccine Education Center and the Office of Community Engagement at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in partnership with the Pennsylvania Chapter American Academy of Pediatrics (PA-AAP), Pennsylvania Immunization Coalition (PAIC), and Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), have released a new educational module, “Communicating about Vaccines – COVID-19 & More.” The module was developed for adult and pediatric providers, immunization champions and community members. The module is free to access and provides better understanding of the facts around COVID-19 disease, how the vaccine approval process works, and how to communicate effectively about these topics. 

In addition, Iowa Immunizes has shared a vaccine equity toolkit from the Nevada Vaccine Equity Collaborative. The toolkit includes a 5-step process for implementing community engaged approaches to vaccine equity.

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