The federal agencies in the US have decided to pause the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to the appearance of a rare and severe blood clot in some people.
A statement was released by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying that they were “recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.”
According to the reports, 6.8 million people received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, out of which six people experienced blood clots. However, Johns & Johnson stated that they were aware of the reports regarding the blood clots. The US health care company said, “We are aware that thromboembolic events, including those with thrombocytopenia have been reported with Covid-19 vaccines. At present, no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events and the Janssen (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine… We continue to work closely with experts and regulators to assess the data and support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public.”
A joint statement by the two organizations revealed the blood clotting was a case of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST). It requires a different treatment than usual as the common treatment with a drug called Heparin “may be dangerous”. According to the sources, all six cases of blood clots were found in women, and they experienced the symptoms around 13 days after being vaccinated. As The New York Times quoted the officials, one woman is dead, and the second woman is in critical condition.
The FDA stated via tweets that it and the CDC are reviewing “six reported US 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. We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events”.
Moreover, the CDC will hold a meeting on Wednesday with its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which guides them on vaccines. The FDA and CDC will review the cases, and until the investigation is complete, The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is put on hold. They stated, “people who have received the J&J vaccine who develop a severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.”