U.S Surgeon General discusses Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 7:41 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP/Gray DC) - The U.S. has recommended pausing the use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced that they were looking into unusual and dangerous blood clots in six women between the ages of 18 and 48. One person has died.

U.S Surgeon General VADM Vivek H. Murthy says the purpose of the pause is to grant time for officials to investigate if there is a connection between the clots and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“This is a rare event at this point,” said Dr. Murthy, " Sometimes these pauses take place and there is found to be no connection. What’s reassuring is that the majority of the people who have had the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been fine.”

Dr. Murthy says more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been given in the U.S. He notes it is common to experience mild flu-like symptoms after receiving the vaccine. However, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, severe headaches, or abdominal pain, he says you should consult your healthcare provider.

Authorities stressed they have found no sign of clot problems with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

“Over 100 million have received the other vaccines that are available in the U.S.,” said Dr. Murthy. “We have not had safety signals like this from those vaccines either. Those are still vaccines we have great confidence in.”

A CDC committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the cases.

While Dr. Murthy acknowledges the pause has disrupted vaccination progress in the U.S., he says the administration is still on track to have 200 million vaccines administered within President Biden’s first 100 days.

Copyright 2021 Gray DC The AP contributed to this report. All rights reserved.