Johnson & Johnson vaccine use paused over blood clot concerns
Today, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID 19 vaccine out of an abundance of caution.
After administering more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine (as of April 12), the U.S. CDC and FDA are currently reviewing six reported cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals who had received the J&J vaccine. All six cases occurred among women between 18 and 48 years, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
These cases presented with a rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) combined with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). Treatment of this specific type of blood clot differs from the typically administered treatment (heparin, an anticoagulant drug). However, heparin administration may be dangerous in the current situation. Therefore, alternative treatments need to be given.
CDC and FDA will review these cases to assess their potential significance, and until that process is over, they are recommending a pause in the J & J vaccine use out of an abundance of caution.
CDC and FDA have asked the J & J vaccinees to report to their healthcare providers if they develop severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination. Healthcare providers will in turn report the adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
Ref: Joint CDC and FDA Statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine