The Johnson and Johnson vaccine has been put on pause, BUT read below before you start to panic. It’s not as scary as you first think.
According to the New York Times, U.S. federal authorities have recommended a pause on the administration of the Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine. And, it seems other governments across the globe are considering the same. The U.S. pause will continue until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can investigate the situation.
The suspension of the drug is due to an “abundance of caution” after six reported cases of vaccine administration caused a severe type of blood clotting. So far, this is an extremely rare side effect. Again, only six U.S. citizens, out of the 7 million who have received the vaccine, have reported experiencing it.
In addition, all of the cases were reported in women under the age of 50 who experienced symptoms within two weeks of getting the shot. But, unfortunately, one person has died from the blood clots and another remains in critical condition, according to the Washington Post.
An advisory committee for the CDC will meet Wednesday, April 14, afternoon to discuss the situation. They may also adjust the recommended use of the vaccine. Right now, health experts have a few ideas as to what may be affecting this rare side effect.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine may hint toward what’s connected to the blood clotting, according to NBC News. Both the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has yet to be approved in the U.S., are experiencing the rare blood clotting.
Both vaccines use an inactive form of a common cold virus, called an adenovirus, to teach the immune system to recognize the coronavirus. Experts believe the adenovirus may be leading to these blood clots due to its activating effect on platelets.
“Most of these patients are developing antibody against what’s caused platelet factor 4, which causes platelets to clump together,” said Dr. Greg Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group in Rochester, Minnesota.
“We also know that adenoviruses themselves can cause platelet activation and binding,” Poland added.
Again, the investigation and talks are based on an “abundance of caution.” In addition, the current pause on the Johnson & Johnson does not affect the Pfizer, Moderna, and other vaccines available. Still, if you received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine within the past two weeks and experience a severe headache, significant abdominal or leg pain, or increasing shortness of breath, call your doctor.