The Biden administration assured Americans in a statement on Tuesday that the FDA's current recommendation to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine would "not have a significant impact on our vaccination plan."
The FDA and CDC released a joint statement Tuesday recommending the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to six recent cases of rare blood clots associated with receiving the vaccine, out of more than 7 million doses given.
All six were women between 18 and 48, with symptoms developing between 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine. These women ended up with a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) linked to low levels of blood platelets, or thrombocytopenia.
According to the FDA, the pause is necessary due to a difference in treatment from the usual use of an anticoagulant called heparin needed for these blood clots. The use of heparin in treating these clots is dangerous, says the FDA. They say the pause is important for health care providers to become aware of and plan for the rare case that these clots happen.
The FDA and CDC assured the public that these cases are very rare, but health officials will be taking the time to review safety data and determine the next steps as early as Wednesday.
In a statement from White House, COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine makes up only 5 percent of vaccines administered, thus the low impact on vaccine distribution.
The statement assured that the US has secured 300 million Pfizer and Moderna shots, and will reach the goal of 200 million shoes by Biden's 100th day in office.
All those currently scheduled to receive the Johnson & Johnson will be rescheduled for either the Pfizer or Moderna, a two dose vaccine.
According to Axios' Jonathan Swan, while the White House officials are confident in the current vaccine plan despite FDA recommendations, they are concerned that the recommendation could increase vaccine hesitancy among 20-to-30 year old Americans who are more likely to choose the Johnson & Johnson vaccine out of convenience.