The FDA has paused use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine after six people-out of the almost 7 million people who so far have received the vaccine-developed a rare blood clotting disorder. Experts do not yet know if the J&J vaccine is responsible for the blood clots, so even though six events in the U.S. is very small, regulatory authorities are taking this time to assemble data on the occurrence of these types of clots in the general population and develop monitoring and treatment recommendations for clinicians and the public.
“The most important thing to remember is that these risks are extremely rare, and the protective benefit of the vaccine is very large,” said Matthew Ferrari, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. “In addition, the FDA has not found any similar cases in people who have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines, which are still available and have been given to over 121 million Americans so far. So, schedule your vaccine appointment for the first vaccine one you can get, and continue to mask up; we will get there but we need to work together and follow all critical guidelines.”