BALTIMORE — The pause on the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine rollout will continue. During the virtual emergency meeting of the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, health officials decided they want more data before making any decision, because they believe more cases of this rare immune could come out, so they will reconvene in the next week or so.
The committee looked at the emergence of an immune reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that caused blood clotting in at least six recipients out of seven million.
Health officials say it’s an extremely rare combination of two conditions that is consistent with what’s being seen with the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe.
They said all six patients are white women between the ages of 18 and 48 and all developed the illness within one to three weeks of vaccination.
Only one was on birth control. None were pregnant or post-partum. One woman died and two are still in the ICU.
Officials also said that one 25-year-old man experienced this rare syndrome during the vaccine trial.
There is also a worry from health officials that because 3.7 million J&J doses have been given out within the last two weeks, there could be more occurrences that haven't been reported or will still happen.
As one physician put it, is this a needle in a hay stack or the tip of the iceberg?
In deciding not to change the recommended pause Wednesday, members say the positive message right now, is we do have two vaccines still rolling out in the us that have not had any reports of this rare condition.
The primary initial symptom for the six women was a severe head ache. Anyone who continues having symptoms one to three weeks after getting the J&J dose should reach out to their health care provider.