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US Restarts Use Of J&J Covid-19 Vaccine After A 10-Day Pause

US Restarts Use Of J&J Covid-19 Vaccine After A 10-Day Pause
The United States ended its 10-day pause for the use of the cxovid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson and the country can now use the vaccine immediately.
The usage was halted to investigate whether administering the vaccine was in any way linked to extremely rare but potentially deadly blood clots.
The risks of experiencing the syndrome involving severe blood clots and low platelets as a result of the vaccine was very low., said the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only 15 cases in the 8 million shots given were found.
"We are no longer recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told a news briefing. "Based on the in-depth analysis, there is likely an association but the risk is very low."
A warning of the risk would be issues in an updated fact sheet given to vaccine recipients and providers, the US FDA officials said. The decision to restart use of the vaccine was made after a meeting with outside advisers to the CDC who recommended restarting of the use of the vaccine.
The rate of incidents of clotting had been found in the analysis by the CDC was seven per one million doses in women under age 50, and the group that was at the highest risk of the syndrome were those women aged between ages 30 to 39 years, the CDC found.
The rate of incidents of the clot was found to be one per one million doses for women over 50 years of age and for all men, said CDC officials.
The risk was not trivial, but still small, said Dr. Jesse Goodman, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in Washington and a former chief scientist at the FDA. "But we should keep it in perspective. I mean the risk of dying from a car accident in your life is something like one in 100, the risk of being struck by lightning is something like one in 15,000," Goodman said.
The covid-19 vaccine from J&J can be given in just a single dose and needs to be stored only at regular refrigeration temperatures unlike the vaccines from Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc which are more effective but needs two doses and must be kept frozen at ultra-cold temperatures. That makes the J&J vaccine more useful for vaccinating people residing in hard to reach areas.
"We will collaborate with health authorities around the world to educate healthcare professionals and the public to ensure this very rare event can be identified early and treated effectively," J&J's Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said in a statement after the agencies made their announcement.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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