The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reviewing additional reports of people who suffered severe side effects after receiving the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.
On Tuesday, the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested clinicians stop using the shot after nine reports of rare, but serious, blood clots out of more than 7.2 million vaccinations.
‘We are encouraged that it hasn’t been an overwhelming number of cases but we’re looking and seeing what’s come in,’ said CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky during a press briefing on Monday.
She added that the agency and the FDA were monitoring the U.S. government’s database for additional reports of side effects.
No details were available on how many additional people suffered side effects or what those side effects were.
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CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said on Monday (pictured) the agency is looking into additional reports of people who suffered severe side effects from the J&J vaccine
Walensky did not elaborate on how many people suffered side effects from the J&J vaccine or what side effects people may have experienced. Pictured: A vial of the J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine in Bay Shore, New York, March 2021
On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA recommended a pause in the rollout of J&J’s vaccine, after nine people out of more than 7 million people developed blood clots after receiving it
J&J’s vaccine combines genetic material from the new virus with the genes of the adenovirus – which causes the common cold – to induce an immune response.
It is the same technology the company used to make an experimental Ebola vaccine for people in the Democratic Republic of Congo in late 2019.
The vaccine was hailed as a game changer in the fight against coronavirus because it is a single-dose and it does not have to be stored at freezing temperatures unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna vaccines.
So it was a shock when a report found that six women under age 50 who received the J&J COVID-19 vaccine had developed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) blood clots.
CVST is a rare type of blood clot that blocks the brain’s sinus channels of draining blood, which can cause hemorrhages.
It occurs in about five per million people in the general population.
In the six cases, CVST occurred in combination with low levels of blood platelets, also known as thrombocytopenia.
This figure of six was later updated to include nine people, but it’s not clear if the other three experienced thrombocytopenia.
After delaying a vote on Wednesday on whether or not to recommend lifting the pause, the CDC’s advisory committee meet again on April 23 to decide.
Members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which develops guidelines for vaccine administration as well as schedules, appeared to want more data before proceeding with a decision.
Meanwhile, Dr Anthony Fauci said on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday that he does not believe the J&J vaccine will be taken out of circulation.
More than three million people are being vaccinated every day as the U.S. mass vaccination campaign picks up speed
As of Monday, more than 131.2 million Americans – 39.5% of the population – have received at least one dose and 84.2 million – 25.4% – are fully immunized
‘My estimate is that we will continue to use it in some form,’ Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said.
‘I doubt very seriously if they just cancel it. I don’t think that’s going to happen. I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment.’
Fauci added that when the ACIP meets, there could be new restrictions or warnings related to the J&J vaccine.
‘I do think that there will likely be some sort of warning or restriction or risk assessment,’ he said.
‘I don’t think it’s just going to go back and say: “OK, everything’s fine. Go right back.” I think it’ll likely say: “OK, we’re going to use it, but be careful under these certain circumstances.”‘
As of Monday, more than 131.2 million Americans – 39.5 percent of the population – have received at least one dose and 84.2 million – 25.4 percent – are fully immunized.
More than three million people are being vaccinated every day, with the U.S. recently surpassing President Joe Biden’s goal of 200 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office