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CDC, FDA Lift Pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccination

April 23, Friday, the CDC and FDA announced that the United States will resume the use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC and the FDA recommended the pause on April 13, after receiving six reports of dangerous blood clots in the brain among the more than 7 million people who had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination.

A day later, the CDC’s advisory committee, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, met to review the available data on the cases and make a recommendation on how to proceed.

The CDC and FDA said the risks of experiencing the syndrome involving severe blood clots and low platelets as a result of the vaccine were very low. They found 15 cases in the 8 million shots given.

The joint announcement came after a CDC advisory committee voted to recommend lifting the pause, but advised adding a warning about the increased risk of very rare but severe blood clots. The vote was 10 to 4, with one abstention for a conflict of interest.

“With these actions the administration of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine can resume immediately,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a media briefing.

“We are no longer recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine. Based on the in-depth analysis, there is likely an association but the risk is very low,” Director Walensky added.