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Reports of Blood Clots From Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Prompt Feds to Suspend Use

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Health officials said there was no sign of similar issues with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and that vaccinations should continue with those two formulas.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning Tuesday advising Americans and their healthcare providers to discontinue using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports of health complications.

The FDA made the announcement on Twitter and issued a joint statement with the CDC after six reported cases in the U.S. of a “rare and severe” type of blood clotting. All six cases of clotting occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

“We are recommending a pause in the use of [the Johnson & Johnson] vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the FDA said on Twitter. “As of 4/12, 6.8m+ doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC & FDA are reviewing data involving 6 reported U.S. cases of a rare & severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the vaccine. Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”

Health officials said there was no sign of similar issues with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, and that vaccinations should continue with those two formulas.

Until that review is complete, though, the federal government is asking that those vaccines be put on hold.

The CDC will meet with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to review the cases. The FDA will then review their analysis so the federal agencies can decide the next steps.

Many states were following suit by suspending the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at facilities they run. In New York, the Cuomo administration said that anyone who had an appointment to get a Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday would instead get a different shot.

“People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” the two health agencies said in a statement. “COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously.”

“New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a news release. “All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine.”

By Casey Harper | The Center Square
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Reposted with permission