U.S. health officials recommended a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after concerns about a rare, but severe blood clotting issue.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a type of brain blood clot was seen in six women between the ages of 18 and 48.
More than 6.8 million doses of the vaccine had been administered to date.
A meeting is scheduled for Wednesday to review the cases and assess their significance. The FDA will also review the CDC assessment.
“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution,” the CDC and the FDA said in the statement. “This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”
The Johnson & Johnson shot has been seen as a positive for vaccine rollout efforts because it only requires one dose.
A number of clinics utilizing the J&J vaccine have been held in the Finger Lakes and Central New York over recent weeks.
The following statement was issued by the state health Commissioner Howard Zucker:
“Today the CDC and FDA issued a statement recommending a pause in the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of an abundance of caution. New York State will follow the CDC and FDA recommendation and pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine statewide immediately today while these health and safety agencies evaluate next steps. All appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccines today at New York State mass vaccination sites will be honored with the Pfizer vaccine. As the CDC and FDA have said, any adverse events related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘appear to be extremely rare’ and, ‘People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider.’ I am in constant contact with the federal government and we will update New Yorkers as more information becomes available.”
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