The U.S. will pause the release of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to rare cases of blood clots among a small number of patients.
Why is the U.S. pausing the J&J vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and theFood and Drug Administrationreleased a joint statement that called for the U.S. to pause the release of the vaccine to investigate blood clot reports.
- Six cases of blood clots were reported among the near 7 million doses administered, according to The New York Times.
The FDA said it had found “a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”
The FDA said the CDC will form the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to review the cases and assess the potential damage.
- “Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause. This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot,” according to the FDA.
What you need to know
- Who got the blood clots? The FDA said it was women from 18 to 48 years old.
- When did they get the blood clots? According to the FDA, the blood clots occurred eight to 13 days after vaccination, per USA Today.
- How many total got the blood clots? Per the FDA, there were six reported cases out of 6.8 million total administered doses.
What it means for the vaccine
Federal officials are reportedly worried that doctors may not be trained to deal with the rare disorder, which is one of the reasons for the pause, The New York Times reports. Health officials want to make sure physicians can handle the disorder if it occurs.
- “The move could substantially complicate the nation’s vaccination efforts at a time when many states are confronting a surge in new cases and seeking to address vaccine hesitancy,” according toThe New York Times.
But this goes beyond the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This event could encourage vaccine hesitancy across the board, according to CNN.
- “The concern in the United States isn’t just about the Johnson & Johnson shot per se,”CNN reports. “At a time when U.S. health officials are encouraging Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they can, there’s a worry that news coverage about clots being studied in relation to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine might make some Americans more hesitant to get any COVID-19 vaccine.”
Can you get the J&J vaccine now?
A federal health official told CNN the announcement means all federal health locations — such as mass vaccination sites and community health centers — will pause use of the vaccine immediately. States are encouraged to do the same, per The New York Times.