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CDC reveals new details on Johnson & Johnson vaccine, blood clot cases – Deadline

The Federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said Wednesday that the hiatus in use of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will continue for at least a week. Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said on Tuesday the break would look more like days to weeks than weeks to months.

The extended hiatus is supposed to give scientists time to collect more data before deciding whether or not to resume doses of J&J to fight Covid-19. Federal officials recommended the break because a rare and serious type of blood clot has been identified among six of the 7.5 million people who have received the vaccine.

“We do not yet know enough to say whether the vaccine is linked to or caused this health problem,” said a CDC statement this week, but the cases are similar to some “seen in Europe after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine”.

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This could be important because, according to the CDC, “the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines both use an adenovirus vector” to deliver instructions, in the form of genetic material, to a cell. “These vaccines are different from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are mRNA-based vaccines,” the agency’s statement noted. “These types of reactions – blood clots associated with low platelet counts – are not seen with the licensed vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.”

White House officials were even more specific of the six cases at a press conference on Wednesday.

Some key details:

-The six people with these clots were women between the ages of 18 and 48, and their symptoms started 6 to 13 days after being vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

-The types of blood clots seen, called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, have occurred in association with low platelet counts – or a condition known as thrombocytopenia.

-The reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and thrombocytopenia are similar to the reports of thrombotic events with thrombocytopenia seen in Europe after vaccination with AstraZeneca vaccine.

-While all cases in the United States have occurred in women, in European cases both men and women have experienced blood clots, although they are more common in women.

-Two people with these blood clots in the United States also had clots in their abdominal cavity or in the veins of their gastrointestinal tract.

-The six people with clots were between 18 and 48 years old.

-Symptoms of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or other associated serious blood clot may include severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath.

Officials at Wednesday’s WH press conference sought to assure Americans that “there is a lot of supply in the system from Moderna and Pfizer, including replacing J&J appointments with Pfizer and Moderna.” They noted that in February, President Biden ordered an additional 100 million doses of each Pfizer and Moderna, bringing the country to 600 million doses of those two vaccines, sometimes in July. Because these are two vaccination schedules, 600 million doses are sufficient for 300 million Americans, the vast majority of the nation’s population.

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