As public health officials continue to investigate whether there is any connection between the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and six cases of rare blood clots in women who got the shot, the Food and Drug Administration has released a report that finds the Baltimore factory that had been contracted to make the vaccine was dirty, contaminated and staff members were poorly trained.

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Murphy said despite the ongoing J&J pause and the problems at the manufacturing facility, he still believes the J&J vaccine will play a part in protecting Garden State residents from COVID.

“I think the faith will come back, I really believe that,” said Murphy. “The pause over the blood clots I think is proof that the system is working."

He also pointed out “we never had any of the J&J doses out of that plant. All of our doses came from the Netherlands and I believe that was the case including the supply that we’re now holding in refrigeration, which is a couple of hundred thousand doses.”

Dr. Ed Lifshitz, the director of communicable disease services for the state Department of Health, said he has full faith in the CDC advisory panel that is reviewing the safety of J&J vaccines.

“Is anything 100% risk free? No, nothing is 100% risk free. We all do things every day," he said.

Lifshitz said while vaccinations offer protection and save lives, in very rare instances, like many medications, there is a remote chance they may cause a side effect that can pose a danger.

Close to 7 million J&J vaccines have been given in the U.S. over the past few months and a total of six women developed serious blood clots.

The advisory committee could issue a recommendation on the J&J vaccine on Friday. There has been speculation they could suggest it be administered to those over 60, because the blood clot cases have all involved women between the ages of 18 and 48.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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