Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The pause button


Blood clots in veins that drain blood from the brain can lead to alarming strokelike results.

That’s why it made sense for federal, state and local health officials to hit the pause button Tuesday and again on Wednesday on continued distributi­on of the Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine. Six known cases of a rare clotting disorder called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in women between the ages of 18 and 48 might be linked to the vaccine, health officials said. More informatio­n is needed.

The individual stories are scary to be sure. But it’s critical to keep them in context. Of the nearly 7 million doses given across the U.S., only six suspected cases with this side effect are known so far.

Hitting the pause button was a smart and cautious approach, and continues to be so, especially given two other alternativ­es exist, Pfizer and Moderna, to continue mass vaccinatio­n programs.

Dozens of health experts met Wednesday to discuss in detail what they know. The continued pause, out of an abundance of caution, is not something to be feared but rather, something on which to build confidence in safety protocols.

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