The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a "pause" in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate unusual blood that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The FDA ommissioner said she expected the pause to last a few days. All six cases were found in women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person has died and all of the cases still remain under investigation.
The FDA says these unusual clots are similar to what European authorities say are possibly linked to another COVID-19 vaccine not yet cleared in the U.S., from AstraZeneca. Federally run vaccination sites will pause the use of the J&J shot and other providers are expected to follow suit. FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock said at a news conference,"I'd like to stress these events appear to be extremely rare. However COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority."
FDA officials want to emphasize that this was not a mandate. Doctors and patients can still use J&J's vaccine if they decide its benefits outweigh its risks for individual cases. The agencies also recommend that people who got the J&J vaccine should contact their doctor if they experience severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks.
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