An advisory committee for the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention will meet on Wednesday afternoon to debate whether or not the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine ought to stay paused whereas a doable hyperlink to uncommon blood clots is investigated.
The emergency assembly follows the Meals and Drug Administration’s announcement on Tuesday that it was learning six circumstances of uncommon and extreme blood clots in girls aged 18 to 48, one in every of whom died. The entire girls had acquired the Johnson & Johnson vaccine earlier than growing the clots, although it’s unclear whether or not the vaccine is accountable. As of Tuesday, greater than seven million folks in the US have acquired the shot, and one other 10 million doses have been shipped out to the states, in keeping with C.D.C. knowledge.
Following the decision from federal well being companies, all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico on Tuesday rapidly paused or really helpful that suppliers pause the administration of the vaccine. The U.S. navy, federally run vaccination websites, and a bunch of personal firms, together with CVS, Walgreens, Ceremony Assist, Walmart and Publix additionally paused the injections.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is a panel of unbiased consultants who advise the C.D.C. on its vaccine insurance policies. On the assembly, the consultants shall be reviewing and debating the info from the six circumstances, and listening to feedback from the general public, earlier than taking a vote on learn how to proceed. They might vote to advocate that the pause continues, for instance, or to specify that it ought to apply solely to a sure age or intercourse.
Federal officers mentioned on Tuesday that the pause may final just a few days, although it trusted what officers realized within the investigation. They mentioned that the pause will give officers extra time to alert docs that sufferers who’ve these uncommon blood clots shouldn’t be given the drug heparin, the usual therapy that docs administer for typical clots, and likewise present time to find out whether or not there are any extra circumstances.
The clotting dysfunction of concern within the vaccine recipients is totally different — and far rarer — than typical blood clots, which develop in tons of of hundreds of individuals yearly. The six girls had not solely clotting within the mind, however a notably low degree of platelets, elements of the blood that assist type regular clots.
The U.S. surgeon normal, Dr. Vivek Murthy, reiterated on Wednesday that the pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations provides public well being officers an opportunity to analyze the circumstances and talk about them with well being care professionals. He added that pauses are frequent when new vaccines and medicines are rolled out.
“We’re simply doing the due diligence we have to do to ensure every thing is protected so we will proceed with our vaccination efforts,” Dr. Murthy mentioned on “CBS This Morning.”
The committee’s evaluation shall be essential at a time when the nation is racing to vaccinate as many individuals as doable to curb the regular accumulation of circumstances, notably as worrisome variants achieve traction. Some public well being consultants had been dissatisfied within the F.D.A.’s suggestion to droop the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, arguing that stopping these extraordinarily uncommon unwanted side effects was not well worth the trade-off of slowing the vaccination marketing campaign and doubtlessly eroding the general public’s belief of vaccines basically.
Madeleine Ngo contributed reporting.