Monday, May 10

CDC advisers to review Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Patients developed symptoms, most often headaches, six to 13 days after receiving the vaccine

INVESTIGATION. A quick response on the vaccine is expected / The Washington Post

A federal vaccine advisory committee met Wednesday to discuss next steps on Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine after federal health officials recommended the day before that states halt its use as agencies review six cases of 7 million people who received the vaccine.

CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices focused on safety data from the company and CDC vaccine experts, including details on the cases of the six women, who were between 18 and 48 years old.

The patients developed symptoms, most often headaches, six to 13 days after vaccination. One recipient of the vaccine, a Virginia woman, died in March and another is in critical condition, health officials said.

Two of six patients have been discharged and three remain in the hospital.

Read more: Underserved Communities Hardest hit by Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Pause


A CDC official and a Johnson & Johnson executive have described the six cases in the most detail so far. All of the women were white and only one person was taking hormonal contraceptives that can cause blood clots, suggesting that this was not the reason for the clots.

Tom Shimabukuro of the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Team explained that severe and rare clots were especially alarming because they were accompanied by low levels of blood cells involved in clotting, a combination virtually unheard of among healthy young people.

“We have a picture where clots form in large (blood) vessels in the presence of low platelets, so it’s kind of a paradox,” Shimabukuro said. “This is unusual, it usually doesn’t happen.”

The combination has also been seen, on rare occasions, among people who received the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. Four of those vaccine recipients were initially treated with heparin, a blood thinner that is not recommended because the events closely resemble an immune reaction to the drug that could make clots worse.

The Washington Post. Free translation by El Tiempo Latino

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