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US FDA And CDC Jointly Urges Pause Of J&J Covid-19 Vaccine After Rare Blood Clot Problems

The FDA and CDC said on Tuesday that the pause in the use of Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) single-shot Covid vaccine is likely to have a long-term effect on the country’s attempts to fight the pandemic. Six women under the age of 50 who got vaccinated developed an unusual blood clot, making the battle against Covid-19 much more difficult.

Regarding the pause of the J&J covid-19 vaccine, the company said “The safety and well-being of the people who use our products is our number one priority. We are aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of individuals who have received our COVID-19 vaccine. We have been reviewing these cases with European health authorities. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe.”

To date, Johnson & Johnson is the only available single dose vaccine against covid-19 where most others are two-dose vaccines. The temporary pause of the J&J vaccine may slower the vaccination drive and put lots of demand pressure on other manufacturers.

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Case: In Detail

Most of the available vaccines have been used in the US due to production issues. More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been distributed in the United States as of April 12. The condition worsens after six individuals in the US developed an unusual and severe blood clot as a result of the J&J vaccine. A form of blood clot known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was identified in conjunction with the low level of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). The symptoms occurred between 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

According to the FCC and CDC, treating this kind of blood clot is more complex than treating a normal blood clot. Heparin, an anticoagulant medication used to treat blood clots, can be toxic, so other treatment options must be considered. 

The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further address the vaccine’s false effect. The FDA and the CDC advised that the J&J vaccine process be put on hold in order to track the medicine’s effect. It also gives the medical community time to react to these adverse effects and brace for appropriate recognition and action as a result of the complex treatment required for this type of blood clot.

What to do if you have received J&J Covid-19 vaccine?

The adverse effects are extremely rare. Within three weeks after receiving the J&J vaccine, people who have extreme headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath should call their health care provider. And, the healthcare providers are encouraged to report vaccine-related adverse effects to the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System here.

The White House, however, said the delay would not have a “major” effect on President Joe Biden’s intention to administer about three million shots per day, for a total of 200 million shots, before his 100th day in office.

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