Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause to continue in U.S.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause will continue for at least one week in the United States until an independent advisory group makes a decision amid cases of blood clotting and death.

Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said on Wednesday they did not feel comfortable making a decision on whether to continue using the vaccine, pause it or stop using it altogether. The panel would try to answer the question whether the blood clot was caused by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or something else.

The panel members said they would seek more information about the people who may be most at risk for blood clots, including gender and age.

The vaccine was paused early this week after six women out of roughly seven million people who received the vaccine developed rare but severe cases of blood clot. One woman has died while another was said to be in critical condition in the hospital in Nebraska.

Federal health officials said the blood clots, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), were accompanied by a condition known as thrombocytopenia. The condition means the body has a low level of platelets which help promote blood clotting.

Johnson & Johnson announced that it was pausing its vaccine rollout also in Europe out of an abundance of caution. Nothing was said about Africa and the rest of the world where that same vaccine is being rolled out under the COVAX facility.

The pause may last between one week and 10 days, although the panel did not announce any date for its next meeting.

Officials have said there should not be panic as the number of people who developed rare conditions was still very minimal.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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