Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Use Halted After CDC and FDA Recommendation

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Currents News Staff

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are calling for a timeout in the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. That’s because of six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot.

“Right now, I would like to stress these events seem to be extremely rare,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock. “But COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government.”

The cases, all in women between the ages of 18 and 48, all occurred six to 13 days after vaccination. One has died, another in critical condition. The six cases are out of nearly seven million doses of the one-shot vaccine administered in the U.S. so far.

The clotting, not seen, the government says, after Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

“People that have vaccine appointments with the other vaccines, should continue with their appointment,” said CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat.

A CDC advisory committee will convene wednesday, April 14, to discuss next steps.Some states already anticipated fewer Johnson & Johnson doses this week because of an unrelated production problem. Many have followed the recommendation to pause already.

The White House COVID response team says it won’t have a major impact on U.S. vaccination goals. Experts say overall, benefits of vaccination still outweigh COVID’s risks.

“I want to emphasize that the risk-benefit ratio is way in favor of benefit,” said Executive Associate Dean at Emory School of Medicine, Dr. Carlos Del Rio. “The vaccines have saved thousands of lives already.”

Those who received the J&J vaccine within the last three weeks and develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should contact their health care provider.