Millennium Post (Kolkata)

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administer­ed in the US, the vast majority with no or mild side effects

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WASHINGTON DC: The US is recommendi­ng a pause in administra­tion of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigat­e reports of potentiall­y dangerous blood clots.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administra­tion said they were investigat­ing clots in six women that occurred in the days after vaccinatio­n.

The clots were observed along with reduced platelet counts making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentiall­y dangerous.

More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administer­ed in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

U.S. federal distributi­on channels, including mass vaccinatio­n sites, will pause the use of the J&J shot, and states and other providers are expected to follow. The other two authorised vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, are not affected by the pause.

CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunizati­on Practices will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases and the FDA has also launched an investigat­ion into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.

Until that process is complete, we are recommendi­ng a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,

Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said in a joint statement.

They are recommendi­ng that people who were given the J&J vaccine who are experienci­ng severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after receiving the shot contact their health care provider.

Officials say they also want to educate vaccine providers and health profession­als about the unique treatment required for this type of clot.

The J&J vaccine received emergency use authorizat­ion from the FDA in late February with great fanfare, with hopes that its single-dose and relatively simple storage requiremen­ts would speed vaccinatio­ns across the country.

Yet the shot only makes up a small fraction of the doses administer­ed in the U.S. as J&J has been plagued by production delays and manufactur­ing errors at the Baltimore plant of a contractor.

Last week the drugmaker took over the facility to scale up production in hopes of meeting its commitment to the U.S. government of providing about 100 million doses by the end of May.

Until now concern about the unusual blood clots has centered on the vaccine from AstraZenec­a, which has not yet received authorisat­ion in the U.S. Last week, European regulators said they found a possible link between the shots and a very rare type of blood clot that occurs together with low blood platelets, one that seems to occur more in younger people. The European Medicines Agency stressed that the benefits of receiving the vaccine outweigh the risks for most people.

 ?? PTI ?? President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Oval Office of the White House in Washington
PTI President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in Oval Office of the White House in Washington

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