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Advisory panel to decide fate of Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

The benefits of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks — and its use should be resumed for anyone over the age of 18 with no warnings added, an influential, independent advisory panel ruled Friday

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which helps guide the government on vaccine use, voted 10 to 4 with one abstention to resume the use of J&J’s one-dose shot after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause on its use last week. 

An examination of more than seven million vaccinations found a total of 15 women faced blood clots after they were inoculated, including three who died, the panel said. Five patients were discharged and seven remain hospitalized. Thirteen of the cases occurred in women between the ages of 18 and 49 while two occurred in females over 50. No cases were found in men.

The CDC and FDA will now review the recommendation and ultimately decide on the vaccine’s fate in the country.

The White House has more than 9 million doses of the jab ready to go if the two agencies give the green light for use, CNN reported early Friday afternoon. 

Reports earlier this week indicated the shot could be available again as soon as this weekend. 

The pause came after six women under the age of 48 developed a rare form of blood clots that arose after they were inoculated with the J&J shot, including one who died. 

Most importantly, the CDC and the FDA have advised patients and doctors on what to look for should symptoms associated with the blood clots arise within three weeks of a J&J vaccination — including severe headaches, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath. 

Doctors have already been advised on how the condition should be treated, which is with different medications than those typically used for the condition.

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