Healthcare

CDC advisory panel will meet again on J&J vaccine in a week

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An independent advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will meet again next week to resume deliberating about the use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, agency director Rochelle Walensky said.

The meeting on April 23 will mark 10 days since federal regulators recommended a nationwide pause on the use of the vaccine due to a small number of extremely rare types of blood clots in people receiving the vaccines.

Every state has since suspended the use of J&J’s single-dose shot, and the company has paused its clinical trials.

As the delay lengthens, there are worries both that the stoppage will lower the willingness of some members of the public to get vaccinated and that it is keeping millions of shots out of action while more than 700 people are still dying from COVID-19 every day.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices first met earlier this week for an emergency session in order to make a recommendation about the use of J&J’s shot going forward. 

However, members of the panel said they did not feel comfortable making a decision about whether to continue vaccinations, because there was not enough evidence about the patients who experienced the serious but rare side effects. 

During a White House briefing on Friday, Walensky thanked the panel members for their “commitment to science” and said that the additional time between meetings will give the agencies a chance to review more cases and for the panel to conduct a full risk assessment.

Johnson & Johnson is a small part of the U.S. vaccination effort, and Walensky stressed the vaccines produced by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech remain widely available.

Tags CDC Coronavirus COVID-19 vaccines J&J vaccine Rochelle Walensky

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