FDA, CDC recommend pausing use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports of rare but severe blood clots

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending the U.S. pause on using the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports of blood clots in individuals who received the vaccine.

The health agencies released a statement Tuesday morning recommending the pause “out of an abundance of caution,” saying blood clots still seem to be “extremely rare.” So far, the CDC and FDA are reviewing six reported cases in the U.S.

All six recipients were women between the ages of 18 and 48, according to a New York Times report. One woman died and one has been hospitalized in critical condition.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will hold a meeting Wednesday to analyze these cases. The FDA said it will review the committee’s analysis as it also investigates the cases.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said in a joint statement. “This is important to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.”

A news conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the U.S. and approximately 9 million more has been shipped out to states, according to the CDC.

“COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously,” said Schuchat and Marks.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

Follow Adrianna Rodriguez: @AdriannaUSAT.

Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Masimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare. The Masimo Foundation does not provide editorial input.

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