U.S. Agencies Call for Suspension of J&J Vaccine Administration

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) will call for an immediate pause of the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose coronavirus vaccine due to rare blood clotting complications.

The news comes after six recipients of the vaccine have developed rare blood disorders including blood clots within 2 weeks of vaccination. All six of the recipients were women between the ages of 18 and 48. One woman has already died and another is in critical condition at a Nebraska hospital.

According to vaccination data from the CDC, nearly 7 million people have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and 9 million doses have been shipped out to states across the U.S. for distribution.

Dr. Mark Peters, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, went on record as saying that the recommended pause was made “out of an abundance of caution”. Peters would go further in a joint statement with Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, saying that “adverse affects appear to be extremely rare”.

The current status of the announcement is a “recommendation” to state distribution centers, but the federal government is expected to halt use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at all federal sites following the news.

The news comes at a bad time for the Biden administration, which plans to have the entire adult population of the U.S. vaccinated by early May. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires far less medical infrastructure to distribute given that it only requires one dose and does not need to be refrigerated, unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

This is a breaking story.


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