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The Texas Department of State Health Services notified vaccine providers that they should resume using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a Saturday press release. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee ruled Friday that the vaccine's benefits outweigh its risks after a thorough safety review.
"We know some Texans prefer the simplicity of a single-dose vaccine, and the ease of storing and handling this vaccine gives providers more flexibility," DSHS Commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt said in a statement. "Resuming the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will prevent hospitalizations and save lives in Texas."
CDC and @US_FDA lift recommended pause on Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) #COVID19 vaccine use following thorough safety review. See full statement: https://t.co/yTTGfGsgSH pic.twitter.com/1kYETjWUgJ
— CDC (@CDCgov) April 23, 2021
Federal agencies paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 13 after six rare but serious cases of blood clots were identified, among more than 7.2 million recipients. Since the pause, an additional seven cases were reported. Most of the cases were among women ages 18 to 49, who experiences symptoms starting one to two weeks after vaccination.
Although some public health experts worried that the pause could fuel vaccine hesitancy, others felt that it would demonstrate the efficacy and transparency of safety protocols.
Now that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is cleared for use, DSHS expects the federal government will make doses available as soon as this weekend, which could increase the state's weekly allocation.
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A week after Texas added two congressional seats and California lost one, state officials reported a population decline in 2020 for the first time in the Golden State's history.
California fell by over 182,000 people from January 2020 to January 2021, dropping almost 0.5% to cap out at around 39.5 million people. It is still the nation's most populous state.
For over thirty years, California has seen more people leave than move in from other states, state officials said, with 6.1 million people moving out and 4.9 million coming in last year. Immigration and births kept California growing, but the state saw a shrink in international migration in 2020 due to COVID and the White House's hold on visas.
Of the steady flow of ex-Californians moving to other states, more are moving to Texas than any other state. Many are relocating to Austin, which has been labeled a "little California" by billionaire resident Elon Musk and continues to grow astronomically.
Meanwhile, California cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and San Francisco saw a population decline.
With immigration and state migration on the decline, the Golden State was also hit with a spike in deaths- 51,000 people died from COVID in 2020, and all but seven of the state's counties saw death rates higher than the three-year average.
Still, the California Department of Finance said a "slightly positive annual growth" can be expected next year as the state recovers from COVID deaths and political repercussions.
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