Dr. Anthony Fauci explains what the U.S. pause on J&J’s Covid vaccine means
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director at the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press conference with Press Secretary Jen Psaki at the White House in Washington, USA, on April 13, 2021.
Tom Brenner | Reuters
The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration’s recommended hiatus in using Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine will give U.S. health officials time to thoroughly investigate how six women developed rare blood clots Disorder that left you dead.
According to Fauci, officials at the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are trying to find out if there is “any evidence” and “some common denominator among the women involved” that could be causing the bleeding disorder known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, or CVST .
He also said the recommended break will alert doctors to the problem. Doctors usually treat these type of blood clots with heparin, a blood thinner, but Fauci said it could be dangerous in this case and noted that health officials recommended a different treatment.
“When someone has this really rare thrombotic thrombocytopenic syndrome, where thrombosis occurs, the most common treatment option is heparin,” Fauci said during a press conference at the White House. “That would be a mistake in this situation because it could be dangerous and make the situation worse.”
Of the 120 million people vaccinated in the United States, around 6.9 million received the vaccine from J&J, Fauci said of her shots. Of the 6.9 million people who received the J&J sting, six developed blood clots, he said.
“We are fully aware that this is a rare occurrence. We want this to be cleared up as soon as possible. That’s why you see the world stop, in other words, you want to hold back a little,” said Fauci. “We want to leave that to the FDA and the CDC to investigate carefully. I don’t think it pulled the trigger too quickly.”
Fauci said the break could last from a few days to a few weeks. The CDC will also convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to review the cases further.
During an earlier call on Tuesday, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Evaluation and Research of Biologics, found that blood clotting generally occurred about a week after vaccination but no more than three weeks after vaccination, with a median time frame of nine days.
“We know these vaccines have flu-like symptoms for the first few days after vaccination, which can include headaches,” he said, adding that these are likely to be common side effects. “If someone is in an emergency room with a severe headache or blood clot,” doctors should ask if they have recently had a vaccine before setting up a care plan. If the patient also has low platelets, doctors should consider that this may be related to the vaccine, he said.
Marks told reporters that researchers had not yet found a specific cause of blood clotting in J&J vaccine recipients, but they believed it was similar to other adenovirus vector vaccines. “This is an immune response that occurs very, very rarely after some people get the vaccine, and that immune response activates the platelets and the extremely rare blood clots,” he said.