Dr. John Vanchiere from Shreveport's LSU Health talks about the CDC recommendation to "pause" the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID vaccine.

On Tuesday morning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration announced plans to investigate reports of clots in six women that occurred within two weeks of vaccination. An Associated Press report said, "the clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48. There was one death."

"It's a pause. They're not pulling it," says Vanchiere, "It's a rare side effect that needs to be investigated further. This is exactly what the FDA's role is, to protect people...and know what the risk profile looks like."

About 6.8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson' single-dose vaccine have been administered and, as Vanchiere says, "In the US what we're dealing with is seven cases of blood clots out of about seven million doses of vaccine. So, one in a million (with) this side effect."

And how concerned should recipients of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be? "Remember, this is a one in a million side effect," he emphasizes, "And we still don't know a lot. The investigation will proceed. The important thing is to be calm...this is exactly what the FDA is supposed to do.

"If anyone has the symptoms as described, severe headache, shortness of breath numbness or tingling in extremities, they should see their doctor or urgent care for evaluation."

 

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