FDA halts use of Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine due to rare blood-clotting issues in six women

Business

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vial and box seen at a vaccination site. Doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are being administered throughout the state of Florida despite a small number of patients who have experienced adverse reactions, including blood clots.
Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is asking states to temporarily halt using Johnson & Johnson‘s Covid-19 vaccine “out of an abundance of caution” after six women in the U.S. developed a rare blood clotting disorder.

“Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare,” the FDA said in a joint statement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously.”

A White House spokesman referred CNBC to HHS when asked for comment.

All six cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 48, with symptoms developing six to 13 days after they received the shot. Doctors typically treat that type of blood clot with heparin but health regulators noted that could be dangerous in this case and recommended a different treatment.

J&J said in a statement that “no clear causal relationship” has been identified between the blood clots and the vaccine, adding it is working closely with regulators to assess the data.

People who receive the vaccine and “develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider,” the FDA and CDC said.

Shares of J&J were down more than 3% in premarket trading Tuesday.

The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to further review the cases, federal health regulators said Tuesday. The FDA is also investigating the cases.

J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine, like Pfizer’s and Moderna’s shots, received an emergency use authorization from the FDA to start distributing the doses across the U.S. An EUA grants conditional clearance based on two months of safety data, pending another submission for full approval which usually requires at least six months of data.

When J&J submitted its Covid vaccine data to the FDA in February, no specific concerns were identified when analyzed by age, race and comorbidities, according to the agency. The FDA said at the time the most common side effects reported were headache and fatigue, followed by muscle aches, nausea and fever.

The New York Times first reported the news.

It’s unclear how the pause will impact J&J’s goal to deliver 100 million doses to the U.S. by the end of May. The company has already been plagued by manufacturing issues after a plant run by Emergent BioSolutions ruined 15 million doses of the vaccine.

Last week, Europe’s medicines regulator said it found a possible link between the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford and rare blood clotting issues. AstraZeneca has not received authorization for use in the U.S.

Emer Cooke, executive director of the European Medicines Agency, said in a televised news conference last week that unusual blood clotting with low blood platelets would be added as a “very rare” side effect to the AstraZeneca vaccine’s product information, along with a slew of other possible adverse reactions.

Both J&J and AstraZeneca use an adenovirus, a common type of virus that typically causes mild cold symptoms, in developing their Covid-19 vaccines.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

Payment tech company Marqeta files for IPO as value tops $16 billion on private markets
60 Wall to exit the ’80s dated FiDi tower set for makeover
Fully furnished, $250K historic townhouse in southern Italy being raffled off for $32 a ticket
F.B.I. Asking Questions After a Pension Fund Aimed High and Fell Short
Tax Policy Lessons from Down Under

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *