Health officials to weigh limits on J&J vaccine as deadly blood clots continue

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was set to meet with advisers Thursday to discuss possible restrictions on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to ongoing concerns about blood clots, particularly among women.

Federal officials temporarily halted use of the single dose J&J vaccine in April to study six women who had experienced blood clots after getting vaxxed. The government ruled that the rewards far outweighed the risks associated with the shot, and usage of the vaccine resumed within days with a new warning label.

Although complications remain rare, some nine American women have died after experiencing blood clots associated with the vaccine, and the rate of clots in people who received it has increased since April, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

About one woman per 100,000 aged 30 to 49 had experienced clot issues after getting a J&J jab, the FDA said in a fact sheet released Tuesday.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices was expected to vote on restricting the usage of J&J’s initial and booster shot or issuing a preferential recommendation for other vaccines, according to the paper. Any recommendation would need to be reviewed by the CDC, which was reportedly asking state health departments to evaluate how dependent they were on the shot.

sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta
Federal officials temporarily halted use of the single dose J&J vaccine in April.
AP Photo/David Goldman, File

“We are committed to understanding and communicating all known risks, including rare events of [the blood clot condition], and strongly support raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of this rare event,” Jake Sargent, a spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, reportedly said.

Only about 17 million doses of J&J have been distributed in the US compared to about 470 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to the CDC.