U.S. Lifts Pause In Use Of J&J Vaccine After Vote By Expert Panel

Reported by NPR/Updated 04/23/2021

Use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is allowed again now that a panel of experts has voted to put it back in distribution despite rare blood clotting problems. 

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday after the panel voted that the vaccine is safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, and its benefits outweigh the known risks.

For 10 days the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine had been in limbo as U.S. health authorities declared a recommended "pause" on administering the shot.

The CDC and the FDA decided to restart administering the single-dose vaccine and to recommend that anyone with concerns should consult their health care provider. The agencies said the chance of the blood clotting disorder is "very low" and has affected mainly women under age 50.

The CDC vaccine advisory committee did not recommend an additional warning. Several members expressed concerns that a warning could increase vaccine hesitancy, while others worried about the ramifications of not including a warning. That information will likely be added to the instructions and fact sheets for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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