Story by Kristi Jones / Contributing Writer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration stated that they were putting a “pause” on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed rare, but severe, blood clots. One woman has died.
The clots, which happened six to 13 days after vaccination in veins that drain blood from the brain, occurred together with low platelets, the fragments in the blood that normally form clots.
Almost seven million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.
A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases, and the FDA has launched an investigation into the cause of the clots and low platelet counts.
FDA officials emphasized that Tuesday’s action was not a mandate, and that doctors and patients could still use J&J’s vaccine if they decide its benefits outweigh its risks for individual cases.
The agencies recommend that people who were given the J&J vaccine should contact their doctor if they experience severe headache, abdominal or leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks.
Even without J&J’s vaccine, White House officials said they remain on track to have enough supplies to vaccinate most American adults by the summer.
Middle Tennessee State University will still hold vaccine clinics on campus, but they will be administering the two-shot Moderna vaccine. Vaccine appointments can be made here.
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