Crystal Jones, 52, head of the Athens City Department of Health, loads syringes of the vaccine on the first day of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine.
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An advisory panel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is holding an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss how to use Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after six women developed a rare bleeding disorder in which one died .
The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will review the data on women ages 18 to 48 who, according to a draft agenda, have developed a rare bleeding disorder known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). The women developed the disease within two weeks of receiving the shot, US health officials told reporters Tuesday.
The meeting takes place from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration urged states to temporarily stop using J & J’s vaccine “out of caution” after reports of blood clots. Shortly after the FDA issued the warning, more than a dozen states and some pharmacies took steps to stop vaccination with J & J’s vaccine, with some replacing scheduled appointments with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the recommended break in using the vaccine will give U.S. health officials the time they need to thoroughly investigate the cases. Fauci said FDA and CDC officials want to see if there is “any evidence” and “find some common ground among the women involved” that might make the bleeding disorder possible.
“We are fully aware that this is a rare occurrence. We want this to be cleared up as soon as possible. That is why you see the word ‘pause’, in other words, you want to hold back a little.” Said Fauci. “We want to leave that to the FDA and the CDC to investigate carefully. I don’t think it pulled the trigger too quickly.”
Of the roughly 120 million people in the United States who received at least one dose of vaccine, around 6.9 million received the vaccine from J&J, Fauci said. 19 vaccines that use mRNA technology for their recordings. Of the 6.9 million people who received the J&J sting, six developed blood clots, he said.
J&J said in a statement that “no clear causal link” was found between the blood clots and the vaccine, adding that it is working closely with regulators to evaluate the data. The company also said it will “proactively delay the rollout of its vaccine in Europe” and suspend vaccinations in its clinical trials as health officials review the cases.
Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Evaluation and Research of Biologics, said Tuesday that officials learned that blood clotting generally occurred about a week after vaccination, but no more than three weeks after, with a median time frame of nine days occurs.
“We know these vaccines have flu-like symptoms for the first few days after vaccination, which can include headaches,” he said, adding that these are likely to be common side effects. “If someone presents to an emergency room with a severe headache or blood clot,” doctors should ask if they have recently had a vaccine before setting up a care plan. If the patient also has low platelets, doctors should consider that this may be related to the vaccine, he said.
Marks told reporters that researchers had not yet found a specific cause of blood clotting in J&J vaccine recipients, but they believed it was similar to other adenovirus vector vaccines. “This is an immune response that occurs very, very rarely after some people have received the vaccine, and that immune response activates the platelets and the extremely rare blood clots,” he said.