FDA and CDC field media questions regarding Johnson and Johnson vaccine pause

Leaders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention teamed up with those heading up the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today to field reporters from across the nation after issuing a joint recommendation for a pause in the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution this morning.

Six in 6.8 million, the number of reported cases of people in the U.S. who developed dangerous blood clots after receiving the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, prompting the CDC and FDA to take swift action Tuesday out of an abundance of caution. Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said, “This morning the FDA and CDC announced that out of an abundance of caution we’re recommending a pause of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to reports of six cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot following vaccine administration. We’re recommending this pause while we work together to fully understand these events.”

FDA Center for Biologics, Evaluation, and Research Director Peter Marks said, “Of the clots seen here in the United States, one case was fatal, and one person is in critical condition.”

While those on Tuesday’s call say it is too early to speculate how many more cases like this will be revealed, they do expect more of these rare cases to be discovered.

In the meantime, some suggestions for those who have already received the J&J vaccine. CDC Principal Director Anne Schuchat said, “For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk event is very low. For people who have gotten the vaccine within the past couple of weeks, they should be aware to look for the following symptoms: severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath, you need to contact your health care provider and seek medical treatment.”

Meanwhile, the nation’s other two major COVID-19 vaccines, Moderna and Pfizer, are still good to go and have not been affected.

As for enforcement of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being withheld until further notice. “This is a recommendation. It is not a mandate. It’s out of an abundance of caution.”

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