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KSU's DeWeese Health Center.

Kent State announced that it’s resuming COVID-19 vaccinations at the DeWeese Health Center April 30. Both the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccine will be offered to all university students, faculty and staff, and their spouses and dependents over the age of 18. 

“After additional research and study into the vaccine’s side effects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration determined the Johnson & Johnson shot’s potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks,” the announcement said.

The university stopped administering vaccines April 13 after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration put out a joint statement about six cases of women getting a rare and severe type of blood clot after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Joan Seidel, Kent’s health commissioner and member of KSU’s vaccine committee, said that the situation is very similar to what happened when the Pfizer vaccine first came out. A couple of people experienced an anaphylactic reaction after receiving the Pfizer vaccine, and that caused them to pause administration.

Seidel said they studied it and said it’s a very rare occurrence and was a coincidence to occur in that group of individuals, back-to-back. After that, the 15-30 minute wait time post-vaccine administration was implemented.

The same sort of process was applied to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when the blood clots started showing up in vaccine patients.

“As soon as a red flag went up that there might be a concern that out of an abundance of caution, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine use was paused so that it could be studied so that they could see,” Seidel said. “From what I understand, there’s not a clear determination, there’s not an abundance of evidence that said ‘Yes, the vaccine has caused this blood clotting problem’ but it’s just that they can’t completely, 100% rule it out.” 

Now that the CDC has that additional data, Seidel said, it’s provided as a part of informed consent. Patients that are vulnerable to the blood clot are told about it before the vaccine. “ If this concerns them, use a different vaccine … Concerns are taken very seriously.”

To schedule an appointment you can call the health center at 330-672-2322 or follow the instructions at this link.

Ethan Cohen is a COVID-19 reporter. Contact him at ecohen7@kent.edu.

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