CDC Panel Votes to End Johnson & Johnson Pause

Learning of more blood clots, advisers suggest a warning
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 23, 2021 5:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – An advisory panel heard about a few more cases of blood clots among recipients Friday, but nonetheless told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine should resume. Vaccinations with the product have been suspended for 11 days. The vote was 10-4, NBC reports. "Today’s presentations and discussions have convinced me that lifting the pause on J&J's vaccine is in the best public health interest of the US population," said Dr. Henry Bernstein, one of the panel members. It's not clear when the shots could resume, but the CDC said it will make a decision on accepting the recommmendation quickly. Along with the Food and Drug Administration, the CDC had urged the pause on April 13, after reports of six women, out of more than 7 million recipients, developing blood clots in the brain after a Johnson & Johnson shot.

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All of the panel members said the benefits of the vaccine far outstrip the risks, but several still have concerns, per the Washington Post. The vaccine should carry a warning about the risk of blood clots, the panel decided, after hearing that the total number of people with blood clots has reached 15. Three people have died, and seven are still hospitalized. All but two of the cases involve women age 18 to 49. Beth Bell, a panel member who voted to resume vaccinations, said she's still "concerned that consumers and women in this age group, in particular, will not be adequately informed just by the FDA fact sheet." The European Medicines Agency also decided this week that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be used but come with a warning. (Read more Johnson & Johnson stories.)

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