Use Of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine Temporarily Paused In The US

Health authorities in the country have temporarily put a pause on the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine after reports of rare blood clots on individuals who received a shot. According to reports, the vaccine was recommended for suspension for at least a few days. 

The decision comes after six women under the age of 50 developed rare blood clots after being vaccinated. 

In response to this, Johnson & Johnson says it will be delaying its vaccine rollout in Europe. The use of the vaccine has also been suspended in South Africa. 

Janet Woodcock, the acting Commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said that the suspension was expected to last only a few days. They are working to provide information to healthcare providers to properly diagnose and treat these clots. 

Earlier this month, European regulators said that they discovered a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine of AstraZeneca and the rare blood clotting problem that was similar to Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. 

According to FDA official Peter Marks, the J&J cases were “plainly obvious” and “very similar” to the cases that AstraZeneca encountered. 

There have not been any blood clotting cases reported from the recipients of the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. But it is important to note that these use different technology. These two vaccines are the ones that have been widely used in the US so far. 


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Immunology experts, however, say that the risk posed by Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine remains extremely low. This is a statement that US officials also say. 

“Even if casually linked to the vaccine: 6 cases with about 7 million doses… is not something to panic about,” says Dr. Amesh Adalja in an email. Dr. Adalja is an infectious disease expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

Dr. Adalja worries that the decision to pause the J&J vaccine could lead to an increase in hesitancy to get vaccinated. 

The FDA reports that there had been one death reported from the six recipients of the J&J vaccine who encountered a rare blood clotting condition. Another of the recipients is in critical condition. 

The White House shared that appointments to obtain the vaccine are being rescheduled across the country. Instead, they will be using the other options for the shot.

“We have more than enough supply of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to continue the current pace of about 3 million shots per day, and that puts us well on pace to meet the President’s goal of 200 million shots by his first 100 days in office,” Jeff Zients, White House COVID-19 coordinator, said in a briefing. 

As of this writing, 7.2 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine had been administered in the country.