US recommends pause in Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccination over blood clot concerns

WASHINGTON (April 14): United States federal health agencies on Tuesday called for a pause in the use of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine after rare blood clotting cases emerged in six recipients, reported Xinhua news agency.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they are reviewing data involving six reported US cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine.

In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets.

All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination.

These adverse events "appear to be extremely rare," the statement said.

Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given, according to the statement.

More than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered in the US as of Monday, according to the CDC.

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