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Feds Raise Pause of J&J COVID Vaccine, Add New Warning

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This story was up to date at 8:35  p.m. 

April 23, 2021 — Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine ought to resume in the USA for all adults, the FDA and CDC mentioned Friday, though well being care suppliers ought to warn sufferers of the danger of creating the uncommon and critical blood clots that precipitated the companies to pause the vaccine’s distribution earlier this month.

“What we’re seeing is the general price of occasions was 1.9 instances per million individuals. In girls 18 to 29 years there was an approximate 7 instances per million. The chance is even decrease in girls over the age of fifty at .9 instances per million,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, mentioned in a information briefing Friday night.. 

Ultimately, the potential advantages of the vaccine far outweighed its dangers.

“By way of advantages, we discovered that for each 1 million doses of this vaccine, the J&J vaccine might forestall over 650 hospitalizations and 12 deaths amongst girls ages 18-49,” Walensky mentioned. The potential advantages to girls over 50 have been even larger: It might forestall 4700 hospitalizations and 650 deaths.

“Ultimately, this vaccine was proven to be protected and efficient for the overwhelming majority of individuals,” Walensky mentioned at a press briefing on Friday evening.

The advice to proceed the vaccine’s rollout got here barely 2 hours after a CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted to advocate the pause be lifted. The vote was 10-4 with one abstention.

The choice additionally contains directions for the warning directed at girls underneath 50 who’ve an elevated danger of a uncommon however critical blood clot dysfunction known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). 

As of April 21, 15 instances of TTS, all in girls and 13 of them in girls underneath 50, have been confirmed amongst 7.98 million doses of the J&J vaccine administered within the U.S. Three girls have died.

The FDA and CDC advisable the pause on April 13 after reviews that 6 girls developed a blood clotting dysfunction 6 to 13 days after they acquired the J&J vaccine.


William Schaffner, MD, an infectious illness skilled at Vanderbilt College in Nashville, and a non-voting ACIP member, mentioned in an interview the panel made the suitable advice.

He applauded each the choice to restart the vaccine and the up to date warning info that “will clarify [TTS] extra absolutely to individuals, notably girls, who’re coming to be vaccinated.”

As to girls within the danger group needing to have a alternative of vaccines,  Schaffner mentioned that will likely be addressed in another way throughout the nation.

“Each supplier is not going to have various vaccines of their location so there will likely be many various methods to do that. You might have to get this info and choose which website you’re going to relying on which vaccine is accessible if this matter is vital to you,” he famous.

ACIP made at present’s determination after a 6-hour emergency assembly to listen to proof on good thing about Johnson & Johnson’s protecting advantages in opposition to COVID-19 vs. danger of TTS.

Within the CDC-FDA press briefing, Walensky identified that over the previous few days, as regulators have reviewed the uncommon occasions, newly recognized sufferers had been handled appropriately, with out using heparin, which isn’t suggested for treating TTS. 

Because of this, regulators felt like their messages had gotten out to medical doctors who now knew the best way to take particular precautions when treating sufferers with the dysfunction.

She mentioned the Johnson & Johnson shot remained an vital choice as a result of it was handy to provide and simpler to retailer than the opposite vaccines at present licensed within the U.S.

Peter Marks, MD, the director of FDA’s Heart for Biologics Analysis and Analysis, mentioned the company had already added info describing the danger of the uncommon clotting dysfunction to its reality sheets for sufferers and medical doctors.

Janet Woodcock, performing commissioner of the FDA, mentioned vaccination facilities might resume giving the “one and performed” pictures as early as tomorrow morning.



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