More Time Needed on Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine: CDC Panel

by Tom Davis, Patch Staff

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to FULL story: patch.com/new-jersey/newbrunswick/more-time-needed-nj-johnson-johnson-covid-vaccine-cdc-panel

The halt on the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine because of blood-clot concerns could last another week, a Centers for Disease Control Prevention panel said on Wednesday.

New Jersey has followed the CDC’s and Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations and halted use of the vaccine.

During a four-hour meeting, Dr. Grace Lee of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said the data was “imperfect” and taking more time is about “getting better risk estimates.”

“My hope is that in the next week or two we can actually capture that in a more robust way,” Lee said, noting that risk factors that will be considered include those that apply to age and gender.

The FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases.

“Until that process is complete, we are recommending this pause,” the FDA said. “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.”

All New Jersey vaccination sites have been told to cancel or put on hold appointments for the J&J vaccine until further notice, according to Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.

For anyone scheduled to receive the J&J vaccine, the department will work with all vaccination sites to make arrangements for the administration of an alternative two-dose vaccine, she said.

“We will work with all sites, as needed, to reschedule vaccination appointments,” she said.

About 200,000 of the 5 million people who have gotten at least one shot in New Jersey received Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, but Gov. Phil Murphy said the state’s goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million adults by the end of June is still “entirely achievable.”

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