U.S. health authorities recommended a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson ’s Covid-19 vaccine in order to investigate rare but severe cases of blood clots, a setback to vaccination efforts racing against virus variants.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the move Tuesday, after finding that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 years who got the vaccine had developed blood clots and one died. More than 6.8 million doses have been administered in the U.S., the agencies said.
The decision prompted the U.S. government to suspend at its vaccination sites administration of J&J’s vaccine, a federal health official said, while states and other authorities scrambled to adjust.
The government’s review may only take a few days, health authorities said. A panel of outside experts will meet Wednesday to review the matter for the CDC, while the FDA will also conduct an investigation.
J&J said Tuesday it is aware of an extremely rare disorder involving people with blood clots in combination with low platelets in a small number of people who received its vaccine. J&J said it is working with health authorities and medical experts.