I-TEAM: The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause: Why?

Published: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The I-TEAM spent the day digging into the data to break down the risks and similarities to blood clots in Europe.

The risk in the U.S. with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one in a million or six women out of 6.8 million. As a percentage, this would be .0000088235 percent.

Still, one woman died and another is in critical condition, which was enough for the CDC and FDA to urge this pause in the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It’s expected to last a few days.

In all six of these patients, the clots were found in the brain. That condition is called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and, doctors say it’s extremely rare. All six of the patients also had low levels of blood platelets.

Doctors say overall, you shouldn’t be alarmed. A woman’s risk is actually higher with birth control than the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The risk of a clot is also higher if you have COVID-19.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said they’re aware of the blood clots, but so far no direct link had been established. The vast majority of COVID vaccines in the U.S. are from Pfizer and Moderna using different technology and so far, no documented risk of blood clots.

The White House says there is enough vaccine to inoculate most American adults by this summer with just Pfizer and Moderna.

The CDC will meet tomorrow to talk more about these cases while the FDA is launching its own review.

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