Fauci believes Johnson & Johnson vaccine will get back on track ‘quickly’
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci on Thursday said he is hopeful that the distribution and administration of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine will get “back on track” soon.
Fauci’s remarks come just one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) postponed making a recommendation about the continued use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine following a pause in the vaccine’s use due to rare cases of blood clots.
“[The pause is] an indication that the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration take safety very seriously,” Fauci told Reuters. “I hope they make the conclusion of this quickly and get back on track. And I believe they will.”
He also expressed his concern that if the CDC delays resuming the use of the vaccine that it could increase vaccine hesitancy.
“The concern is that the longer you draw it out, the more there will be concern about not only that vaccine, but it might even have an impact on vaccine hesitancy in general,” Fauci told the news outlet.
Fauci also said that once use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine does resume, health officials should continue to make the public aware of its effectiveness, according to Reuters.
“I think we’ve just got to continue to emphasize that this is a very efficacious vaccine and could be used, and be very, very valuable on the global scene,” he said.
The AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine has also been found to cause blood clots similar to those associated with the J&J vaccine. On Wednesday, Denmark made the decision to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country, a move Fauci on Thursday noted was premature, Reuters reported.
“If you have alternative vaccines, fine, but if you don’t, you may need to say you know, it’s a very, very small risk,” he said. “That will be a judgment call that will be made in the future.”
Fauci previously said that the pause could diminish vaccine hesitancy and underscore how seriously federal agencies are taking vaccine safety.