A decision to resume administration of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine should be made this Friday when a panel of experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease expert, is to meet.
“I think we will make a decision by then,” said Dr. Fauci on Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union program.
“I don’t want to be one step ahead of the CDC, the FDA and the advisory committee,” he added, but said he expected experts to recommend “some kind of warning or restriction” on the use of the vaccine.
Federal health officials recommended suspending vaccine injections Tuesday while investigating whether this was related to a rare bleeding disorder. All 50 states except Washington, DC and Puerto Rico have stopped giving the vaccine.
The unusual disorder includes blood clots in the brain combined with low levels of platelets, blood cells that typically promote clotting. The combination, which can lead to coagulation and bleeding at the same time, was initially documented in six women between the ages of 18 and 48 who had received the vaccine one to three weeks earlier. One of the women died and another was hospitalized in critical condition.
This pattern has raised questions about whether vaccinations could be resumed in men or in the elderly. However, with women filling more health care positions for which vaccination has been prioritized, it is not clear how the problem could affect men as well. Two more cases of the coagulation disorder were identified on Wednesday, including one in a man who received the vaccine in a clinical trial.
Of the 131.2 million people who received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in the United States, more than seven million are have received Johnson & Johnson’s. If there is a link between the vaccine and the coagulation disorder, the risk remains extremely low, according to experts.
“It is an extremely rare occurrence,” said Dr. Fauci on the ABC program “This Week”. The break should give experts time to gather more information and warn doctors about the clotting disorder so they can make more informed treatment decisions, said Dr. Fauci, who appeared on four television news programs on Sunday morning.
European regulators have investigated similar cases of the unusual coagulation disorder in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Some European countries have now stopped giving this vaccine completely, while others have restricted its use in younger people.
Dr. Fauci also expressed frustration that “a worryingly large segment of Republicans” who have criticized many of the coronavirus restrictions have expressed reluctance to vaccinate. “It’s almost paradoxical,” he said. “On the one hand, they want to be freed from the restrictions, on the other hand, they don’t want to be vaccinated. It just makes almost no sense. ”
What You Need To Know About The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Break In The United States
- On April 13, 2021, U.S. health officials called for an immediate halt to use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine after six recipients in the U.S. developed a rare blood clot disorder within one to three weeks of being vaccinated.
- All 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico have temporarily stopped using the vaccine or recommended providers are suspending use of the vaccine. The U.S. military, government-run vaccination centers, and a variety of private companies, including CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Walmart, and Publix, also paused the injections.
- Fewer than one in a million Johnson & Johnson vaccinations are currently being studied. If there is a real risk of blood clots from the vaccine – which has yet to be determined – the risk is extremely small. The risk of contracting Covid-19 in the United States is much higher.
- The hiatus could complicate the country’s vaccination efforts at a time when many states are facing spikes in new cases and are trying to address vaccine hesitation.
- Johnson & Johnson has also decided to delay the launch of its vaccine in Europe amid concerns about rare blood clots, which is taking another blow to the vaccine surge in Europe. South Africa, devastated by a contagious variant of the virus found there, also stopped using the vaccine. Australia announced that it would not buy cans.
The New York Times examined survey and vaccine administration data for nearly every US state and found that both willingness to receive a vaccine and actual vaccination rates in counties where a majority of residents voted for re-election of the former president , Donald J. Trump were lower on average in 2020.
Dr. Fauci said he expects all students to be eligible for a vaccination before school starts in the fall, with younger children being eligible by Q1 2022 at the latest.